The GMB union has launched proceedings against delivery company DX.
The new case, which is being represented by law firm Leigh Day, is on behalf of six lead claimant DX workers, who claim they are being denied their rights as workers.
The GMB says that if the case is successful, the result will force DX to reconsider how it treats all its workers.
“We believe that gig economy employers such as DX are trying to avoid their legal responsibilities by dressing up relations with their workers as self-employment,” says Michael Newman, of Leigh Day. “We intend to challenge this on behalf of those workers who are losing out.
DX drivers are currently viewed as ‘self-employed contractors’ by DX, which means that they are denied holiday pay and national minimum wage, explains the union.
“The ‘gig economy’ refers to companies operating a system where temporary positions are common and an attempt is made to label those working on short-term engagements as ‘independent contractors’,” adds Newman.
“This practice can allow both the company and individual more flexibility in the way they carry out their work. However, this flexibility is often used as an excuse to deny individuals security and basic workers’ rights,” he says.
The case is the latest in a series being brought by GMB on behalf of members to tackle the growing trend of bogus self-employment and gig economy exploitation.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, says: “It is high time that gig economy employers like DX stepped up to their responsibilities for those who put in the hours for them. GMB will continue to challenge this shameful practice wherever we can. Multi-million pound employers need to realise that they cannot continue to avoid basic workers’ rights.”