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Case law: EAT confirms cycle couriers are to be treated as workers for holiday pay purposes

Businesses which generate and pass work to third party individuals, taking a commission, and who treat those individuals as self-employed, should consider whether they may in fact be 'workers' under UK working time laws – and therefore entitled to holiday pay, following an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling.

June 2018

This update was published in Legal Alert - June 2018

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

A cycle courier, whose jobs were generated by an app which he logged into when available for work, had a contract stating he was an 'independent contractor'. He claimed he was a 'worker' for the purpose of the working time rules and was therefore entitled to holiday pay.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) agreed. It said that the contract did not reflect the reality. It found that when the courier was logged on to the app, the employer had to offer the courier work, and he had to accept the work offered. This meant there was a contract with mutual obligations during those periods and he was, therefore, a worker.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Businesses which generate and pass work to third party individuals, taking a commission each time, and who treat the individuals as self-employed, should consider whether they may in fact be 'workers' under UK working time laws, and therefore entitled to holiday pay

Case ref: Addison Lee Ltd v Gascoigne UKEAT/0289/17/LA

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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