Is admission the new trend in the gig economy?
A company which provides pathology services to the NHS, The Doctors Laboratory, is the second company to admit that it had wrongly classified some staff as independent contractors as opposed to workers. The admission was made in response to a claim issued in the London Central Employment Tribunal by Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) on behalf of five cyclists, motorcyclists and van drivers, all of whom are on a variety of different contracts. However, despite the admission, the claim is still continuing as the IWGB believe the admission does not go far enough. The IWGB is claiming that the staff are not only workers but in fact are employees. The claim is due to be heard later in the Autumn.
The first company to admit its worker status mistake was eCourier (a Royal Mail delivery company) back in May 2017. Again, this was done in response to a claim issued in the London Central Employment Tribunal by the IWGB on behalf of the individual. eCourier made a payment of £545 to settle the claim following which it launched an internal investigation to review the employment status of hundreds of its cycle couriers as it was reported that almost all of eCourier’s riders (some 350) were on the same terms as the individual involved.