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Gig economy courier a ‘worker’ as no unrestricted right to substitute someone else

Makbool Javaid

In Stuart Delivery Ltd v Augustine, the EAT held that an ET had not made an error in deciding that when ‘A’, a delivery courier, was undertaking fixed hours slots, he was a ‘worker’ and not an independent contractor in business on his own account as argued by SD Ltd. During the slot, ‘A’ was under the control of SD Ltd, was unable to leave the zone he had agreed to operate in, required to undertake the deliveries offered to him in return for a guaranteed hourly wage and could not hold himself out as being available to other delivery companies.  While ‘A’ could release a slot he had signed up to back into the pool of approved couriers via the Staffomatic app, he had no control over whether, or who, picked up the slot he had released, and so had no unrestricted right of substitution. ‘A’’s contract therefore required him to do or perform personally work for SD Ltd and he was a ‘worker’.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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