FOUR LONDON bicycle messengers will get their chance to argue they are employed by their courier companies – and thus eligible for the national living wage and holiday pay – at an employment tribunal in November.
Maggie Dewhurst, Chris Gascigne, Demille Flanmore and Andrew Boxer have launched a claim against CitySprint, Excel, Addison Lee and eCourier and are backed by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).
Dewhurst, whose case will be heard first at Holborn’s London Central Tribunal on November 22 said:
“There are a lot of couriers who don’t earn the minimum wage. And if you don’t have the right to something, your employer has no legal obligation to give it to you.”
IWGB president Jason Moyer-Lee said: “This case is more important than just the couriers. The whole economy is going to head in that direction if we’re not careful. If these people really were independent contractors, the couriers would not be able to guarantee a service to their institutional clients. They are just one bad accident away from financial destitution.”
Sarah Fraser Butlin, a barrister at the Cloisters solicitors chamber which is representing the couriers, said the four cycle couriers are: ‘Obviously, workers and probably employees. This is one of the most important cases this year in terms of ordinary working people.”