The London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that a bicycle courier for ground transport organisation Excel is a worker, and is therefore entitled to holiday pay.
Bicycle courier Andrew Boxer contended that he was employed by Excel as a worker rather than as an independent contractor, and was therefore entitled to workers’ rights, such as holiday pay. Boxer, who had been working for Excel since September 2013, was seeking payment for a weeks’ holiday that he took in March 2016.
The Employment Tribunal found that Boxer was a worker for Excel and that the organisation had acted unlawfully by denying him holiday pay. Excel, which entered voluntary liquidation and has since been acquired by CitySprint, has been ordered to pay Boxer £321.16 in holiday pay without deductions.
Employment judge Wade found that Boxer was paid a non-negotiable, fixed rate for the work he did during set hours. The business model required him to work five days a week, performing set jobs that were allocated by a controller. Boxer would be expected to stand by between jobs, and if he wished to change location, he would need permission from the controller.
The controller would expect Boxer to be available during the working day to pick up jobs, occasionally being required to work without breaks. Any flexibility in working hours or time off would require prior notice and arranging with the controller.
Wade concluded that despite Boxer providing his own “tools of the trade”, such as a bicycle, mobile phone and protective clothing, he was not providing his services on his own account as a business undertaking, and was not entering in to any additional business contracts.
Boxer’s claim was supported by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), and was heard by the Central London Employment Tribunal on 21 and 22 March 2017. There was no attendance or witness evidence presented on behalf of the respondent, Excel, at the hearing.
Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary at the IWGB, said: “This judgement is yet further evidence of what we have known to be true all along; courier [organisations] are unlawfully depriving their workers of rights.”
CitySprint declined to comment.