EAT confirms Addison Lee drivers are entitled to workers’ rights

Taxi drivers with Addison Lee are legally entitled to the national minimum wage and holiday pay rights, confirms the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).

The EAT has rejected the arguments that the ‘gig-economy’ drivers are self-employed contractors running their own businesses, reports the union GMB. It has confirmed the original Employment Tribunal’s decision last year that the nature of the relationship between the drivers and the company is that Addison Lee drivers work for Addison Lee rather than being self-employed.

The ruling may mean thousands of Addison Lee drivers are legally entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay.

It is clear that Addison Lee’s business model of providing a fleet of highly trained, regulated drivers is incompatible with their arguments that drivers are not workers who are entitled to workers’ fundamental rights, says Liana Wood, a solicitor at Leigh Day, which represented the drivers, on behalf of union GMB.

Says Wood: “We hope that Addison Lee will accept this decision; drivers shouldn’t have to continue to work very long hours, often in excess of 60 hours per week, to earn just enough to meet their basic living costs.”

The taxi drivers brought the claim in 2016 because they wanted to be ‘treated fairly’ says Michaell Lange, one of the drivers involved in the case. “”We now urge Addison Lee to do the decent thing and stop denying its workforce of over 4000 drivers their rights.”

The union GMB says it will continue to fight what it calls exploitative companies.
“This is another huge win for GMB over bogus self-employment,” says Sue Harris, GMB Legal Director. “Once again the courts have agreed Addison Lee drivers are legally entitled to workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay rights.

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