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“Self-employed” workers take legal action over employee rights

By 22/04/2016April 8th, 2022HR News, Legal
self employed workers

Four bicycle couriers in the UK, are taking legal action against their companies in order to be entitled to workers’ rights, such as paid holidays and the minimum wage.

Similar to the story in the US, where Uber drivers are campaigning for employee’s rights, this case could be significant in the business world regarding workers who are being categorised as ‘self-employed’.

The couriers, in this case, are being considered self-employed despite working 50 hours a week for one firm.

Many bicycle couriers, work longer days and particularly in London, can cover 60-70 miles per day, being paid £2 per delivery. This is one of the many reasons why the couriers are hoping to gain employees’ rights and this tribunal and are looking to be seen legally as “workers”.

One courier told the BBC: “I am monitored, have to have company ID with me at all times, and can’t take work from other companies… I get paid per delivery, not per hour. I am required to sign a contract which says that I am self-employed, which means I don’t get any employment rights”

Experts say that as many as 460,000 people in Britain could be working as self-employed falsely and could be missing out on workers’ rights.