Quartet of couriers launch legal bid for better employment rights
A group of cycle couriers are to go to an Employment Tribunal against a group of courier companies this month after claiming they are being denied basic employment rights.
Chris Gascoigne, Demille Flanore, Andrew Boxer and Maggie Dewhurst are making the case that they should be recognised as workers so as to be entitled to the National Living Wage and holiday pay.
The group have received the backing of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and the case is scheduled to be heard at the Central Employment Tribunal, in Holborn.
Ms Dewhurst told The Evening Standard that many workers were losing out as a result of the increased use in “independent contractor” contracts.
“You are able to run a business model that puts all the cost onto the workers. You can hire and fire people at a moment’s notice,” she said.
“There’s a lot of couriers who don’t earn the National Minimum Wage. If you don’t have the right to something, your employer is under no legal obligation to give it to you. They’re not going to give it to you out of the goodness of their heart.”
The 28-year-old, from Walworth, said that under the current arrangements her earnings can fluctuate by as much as £100 a month and this made financial planning extremely difficult.
Jason Moyer-Lee, president of the IWGB, said: “The case is more important than just the couriers. The whole economy is going to head in that direction if we’re not careful.
“If these people were really independent contractors, the couriers would not be able to guarantee a service to their institutional clients… You’re one bad accident away from financial destitution.”
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