THREE Addison Lee private hire drivers represented by the GMB union have been making their case at a Central London employment tribunal to be re-classified as ‘workers’ instead of self-employed.
GMB legal director Maria Ludkin said: “Addison Lee is shirking its responsibilities through bogus self-employment. Addison Lee drivers work for Addison Lee and are entitled to the same basic rights and benefits as workers in other industries.”
Liana Wood of Leigh Day solicitors, who are representing the three minicab drivers, said: “On behalf of our clients, we are claiming that Addison Lee is wrongly classifying its drivers as self employed, with the result that drivers are denied their rights and protections that they are lawfully intended to have, including the right not to have their contracts terminated because they are members of a trade union.”
Addison Lee has yet to comment on the ongoing legal case, but in an email sent to employees, company chief executive Andy Boland defended the self-employment status of its drivers. He wrote:
The relationship between Addison Lee and its drivers is fundamental to our shared success. Together we have built a positive partnership over many years, based on flexibility and fairness that, in a hugely competitive environment, generates worker for 3,800 drivers. But, it is a relationship built on flexibility. Our drivers can work when they choose, take other jobs if they wish or take a career break – they decide. This flexibility is very important and is highly regarded by our drivers.
The hearing continues.