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Cycle courier was a worker, not an independent contractor

Makbool Javaid

In Gascoigne v Addison Lee Ltd, an ET found that a cycle courier was a worker, and not an independent contractor as argued by Addison Lee (AL), and was therefore entitled to holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations 1998. While Gascoigne’s contract stated that he agreed that he was an independent contractor the ET decided that the evidence demonstrated he was a worker. The key factors pointing towards worker status were: (i) AL provided G with the technology and other equipment he needed to do the job; (ii) G was constantly in touch with his controller when logged on to the system while carrying out deliveries and while on stand-by; (iii) AL and G worked together as a team, whereby G carried out work under AL’s control; and (iv) G carried out the work personally and did not regard AL as his client or a customer. The ET concluded by saying this was not a relationship which lent itself to the interpretation [independent contractor] “which the armies of lawyers tried to promote”.

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