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Background

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given its latest judgment in the ongoing gig economy series of claims, upholding the tribunal’s finding that a cycle courier is a worker.

Case

Addison Lee appealed on two grounds against the employment tribunal’s determination that Mr Gascoigne, a cycle courier, was a worker within the meaning of regulation 2 of the Working Time Regulations when logged on to the app.

Outcome

The EAT rejected both grounds of appeal, upholding the tribunal’s finding of worker status and therefore Mr Gascoigne’s entitlement to holiday pay.
On the first ground of appeal, which although framed as an appeal based upon an error of law was actually an appeal based upon an error of fact, the tribunal correctly determined that there was mutuality of obligation between the parties when Mr Gascoigne was logged on to the app. He had to accept jobs offered to him when logged on to the app. His entitlement to log off at any time did not affect his obligation to accept work when logged on.

On the second ground of appeal the tribunal’s multi-factorial assessment that Mr Gascoigne was a worker was not perverse.

Note to employers:

If you engage anybody in your business as self-employed contractors you should look to review how they are engaged ‘in practice’ to assess the risk of claims based on them being workers or employees.
Contractual wording will be disregarded by the tribunal if it does not reflect the reality of the working relationship.

If you would like any further information, please contact our Employment Team
Tom Evans Associate

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