IN THE first gig-economy test case to hit the healthcare sector, five couriers from The Doctors Laboratory launched a claim last month challenging their employment status.
The couriers allege they work regular shifts exclusively for Doctors Laboratory and have to wear company uniforms. But, because they are classed as self-employed, they do not receive employee rights like holiday and sick pay.
One claimant, Ronnie De Andrade said:
I risk my life every day to get emergency blood to people, but the company won’t even recognise my basic employee rights without a fight.
I have been working for them for over five years and I don’t see my life progressing like this. I can’t get a mortgage, I have no pay when I go on holiday and I can’t get sick because I won’t get paid.
Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, who are backing the couriers, said: “We need to nip this ‘gig economy’ stuff in the bud because, if we don’t, it will spread.”