CitySprint issued new contracts to its couriers in 2017, following an employment tribunal decision in which a CitySprint courier brought a successful employment status claim. In the latest claims against CitySprint, a tribunal considered whether cycle couriers were workers, both before and after the 2017 contractual terms were introduced, for the purposes of holiday pay claims.
The tribunal concluded that the couriers were workers before and after the change of contracts and therefore entitled to holiday pay during both periods. It said that although the couriers had a contractual right of substitution, this was a theoretical right only that had never been exercised, and that personal performance was a dominant feature of the contract. Although most of the couriers did other work, they did not provide their services as cycle courier elsewhere. So even under the new 2017 contracts, the couriers were workers.
This decision confirms that when assessing employment status, the underlying documentation is only part of the factual matrix and a tribunal will consider how the relationship works in practice.
The Supreme Court (the highest court in the UK) recently heard the appeal on the employment status of Uber drivers in the UK. The Court of Appeal previously concluded that although the contractual documentation indicated that Uber drivers were self-employed, they were in fact workers and therefore entitled to national minimum wage, paid holiday and whistleblower protection.
The owner of Just Eat Takeaway has announced this month that he intends to end “gig” working at his company across Europe. He has stated that he would rather run his company with staff who get benefits and more workplace protection.
For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United Kingdom, please contact Robert Hill (Partner) at Clyde & Co at email@example.com or visit www.clydeco.com.