In a major blow to the taxi company Addison Lee, an EAT (Employment Appeal Tribunal) ruling confirms that drivers should be entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay. Thousands of Addison Lee drivers could be affected by the ruling and able to seek compensation.
“We now urge Addison Lee to do the decent thing and stop denying its workforce of over 4,000 drivers their rights.” Said one of the drivers, Michael Lange.
The EAT rejected Addison Lee’s arguments that the drivers were self-employed contractors running their own businesses. Addison Lee’s “unrealistic terms and conditions” that employees had to sign were said not to reflect the true nature of their relationship with the company.
‘This is another huge win for GMB over bogus self-employment. 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. Other employers should take note – GMB will not stop pursuing these exploitative companies on behalf of our members.’ Sue Harris, legal director at union GMB, said
Liana Wood, the solicitor at Leigh Day who represented the drivers on behalf of the GMB, added: “We are very pleased that the EAT has rejected Addison Lee’s appeal. It is clear that Addison Lee’s business model of providing a fleet of highly trained, regulated drivers are incompatible with their arguments that drivers are not workers who are entitled to workers’ fundamental rights. 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.”
A spokesperson for Addison Lee said: ’Addison Lee is disappointed with the ruling as we enjoy a positive relationship with the vast majority of our 3,800 driver partners. In common with most of the industry, the majority are self-employed, and with earnings at a record high, over 60% said they were likely or very likely to recommend working for Addison Lee in our most recent driver satisfaction survey.’