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Following the recent Uber ‘worker’ decision, another employment tribunal has found that a bike courier working for CitySprint is also a worker rather than self-employed, giving her rights to holiday pay, Statutory Sick Pay, and the National Living/Minimum Wage.
Maggie Dewhurst cycled up to 50 miles per day for CitySprint, between 9.30am to 6.30pm, four days a week. When she started work each day she would speak to a controller at the company and needed to log onto a system called ‘Citytrakker’, which tracked her location and helped allocate courier jobs along with the Controller. She was also in touch with the controllers throughout the day by radio / mobile phone and was told where to pick parcels up and where to deliver them to.
She told the tribunal that she had a “fear” of getting less work if she did not do as she was asked, and that while it was possible for her to refuse to carry out a job, it is “widely understood” that this is “not a good idea” as the controllers would find that “disruptive”. Dewhurst said “Ultimately this would impact on the amount of work I am allocated.”
Dewhurst was helped by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which says courier companies have been denying their workers appropriate employment rights.
Her contract was called a ‘Confirmation of a Tender to Supply Courier Services’ and described her as self-employed, saying that:
The tribunal had no doubt the contract was actually not a genuinely self-employed contract, and that Dewhurst was in fact a worker, providing a personal service, while on the ‘circuit’ i.e. logged into the tracking system. She had originally claimed she was an employee and a worker, but later dropped the employee claim).
In spite of the written terms of the contract, the tribunal looked at the practical reality of the working relationship between CitySprint and Dewhurst, finding that:
Expect an Appeal!
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