Another Courier Wins At Tribunal
Some people worry about their budgets with regards to hiring a courier, what with the average courier quote being what it is. But like any business, price is there to be balanced with benefit. Maintenance costs money, but helps keep customers around, which brings in money. Employees get paid, they do their work.
Speaking of which, there’s been recent talk with regards to London’s couriers, who believe that they should be considered as employees, complete with paid holidays, leaves, and the other benefits of employment.
It would seem that the legal authority of central London agrees. A second bicycle courier, one by the name of Andrew Boxer, has just won a protracted legal battle regarding his employment. The legal battle ended with the ruling that Excel, the courier company, has failed to treat Mr. Boxer properly as an employee, after they erroneously listed him as an independent contractor. To compensate, the company gave Mr. Boxer £321.16.
The judge of the proceeding, Joanna Wade, ruled that the contract that legally bound Mr. Boxer was not reflective of the actual reality of the circumstances surrounding it, and that Mr. Boxer signed the contract simply because he had no choice. She points the blatancy of the inequality of bargaining power between the parties as something that influenced her ruling.
The judge states that Boxer classifies as a worker, not as an independent contractor, by virtue of the fact that he was required to work under the conditions under the same conditions as employees; five days a week, and paid with non-negotiable fixed rate. Additionally, Mr. Boxer was unable to take time off from work without notice, and was expected by his controller to be on standby for active work at all times.
Workers employed under any contract that binds them into attendance even when they don’t want to, are classified as employees and share their rights, save those of sick pay and maternity.
This case is one of many regarding the gig economy, wherein independent contractors are common place, used by companies. Recent events may alter how companies such as Excel function, with the corresponding changes to things like courier quote, etc. Workers’ unions are calling to the government to enforce the laws and protect the rights of employees everywhere.