Ruling upheld that Addison Lee couriers were workers

06 December 2018

The Employment Appeal tribunal (EAT) has upheld the ruling that the claimants (couriers) in the Addison Lee Ltd v Lange & Ors case were limb (b) workers and that, as such, they were entitled to holiday pay and to the national minimum wage.

The EAT has also upheld the ruling that time when the drivers were logged on to the Respondent's system, other than break times, was working time.

Both appeals were dismissed.

 

Employment cases update provides the background:

The Respondent carries on business as a professional private hire firm, using about 4,000 drivers to service the needs of both commercial and private customers. Every driver was given a hand-held computer known as an XDA. When ready to work the driver would use the XDA to log on to the Respondent's computerised system from the vehicle. There was a button on the XDA for the driver to accept a job which the system allocated. The driver was expected to accept it forthwith and move to the pick-up location.

The Employment Trubunal (ET) found that when a job was notified to the driver s/he had to accept it forthwith. If they did not do so they had to give an acceptable reason. If the Controller deemed the reason to be unacceptable, the matter was then referred to a supervisor. Refusing a job in this way was known as "unallocation". A sanction might follow.

The ET found that the Claimants were limb (b) workers and thus entitled to holiday pay and the national minimum wage. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. They considered that the ET, applying the "realistic and worldly wise" approach mandated by Autoclenz, was entitled to reach the conclusion it did. The working time appeal was also dismissed, the EAT saying that, being available when logged on was an essential part of the service rendered to the Respondent and therefore the ET was correct to find that this was working time.