03:34, July 04 479 0

2017-07-04 03:34:09
Bakers and Leigh Day on call for employment claim against Addison Lee

Baker McKenzie and Leigh Day are acting in the latest legal challenge from drivers’ union GMB against taxi company Addison Lee.

Leigh Day employment lawyer Liana Wood is acting on behalf of drivers who are seeking confirmation of members’ worker status in an employment case, while Baker McKenzie partner John Evason is leading a team for Addison Lee.

Wood has instructed Matrix Chambers’ Thomas Linden QC, while Evason has instructed Devereaux Chambers’ Andrew Burns QC.

Private drivers union GMB asserts the drivers are workers and therefore entitled to the national minimum wage and holiday pay – benefits they are currently denied.

The action is being taken by three Addison Lee drivers. The hearing begins today in the Central London employment tribunal.

This is the second time that GMB has called on Leigh Day to represent its members’ interests in a significant employment case. Almost two years ago, the firm was instructed to represent the GMB in a landmark employment case against Uber. DLA Piper client Uber eventually lost the case against its drivers at the end of last year.

Uber is currently appealing the decision in the employment appeal tribunal, and is due to be heard in September 2017.

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.

“GMB continues to fight for the rights of our members wherever we see exploitation disguised as bogus self-employment.”

Baker McKenzie was approached for comment.

This is the latest in a series of legal disputes for taxi services companiesd. Last month, Devereux barrister Jolyon Maugham QC raised more than £100,000 to sue Uber in the High Court over its failure to provide a VAT invoice worth £1.06, which he says amounts to a breach of “tax morale”.

Addison Lee’s 3,800 are all currently self-employed. It is understood that every driver has the potential to earn the London Living Wage. The company builds some incentives into the system at peak times, offers an extra stipulation to drivers for each job – which amounts to £5 or £10.