The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is filing holiday pay claims totalling £198,463.37 against CitySprint on behalf of 17 couriers, as the company continues to deny its workers their rights, despite a previous ruling against it.
A separate £43,668.86 holiday pay claim will be made against Royal Mail-owned eCourier on behalf of three couriers that were TUPE transferred from CitySprint.
The claims, which were filed earlier this month at the Employment Tribunal, will cover a period stretching back to January 1999.
CitySprint has denied these workers their holiday entitlements by falsely claiming that the couriers are independent contractors, instead of workers or employees, despite a ruling in January 2017 that said that CitySprint courier Maggie Dewhurst was a worker. In November, CitySprint issued a newly worded contract to describe the same employment relationship as an excuse not to fully implement the tribunal’s decision.
The union will argue that the 20 couriers have or had the same employment relationship as Dewhurst and are consequently workers, entitled to the minimum wage, holiday pay and other rights.
Claimant in the eCourier case and IWGB Vice-President Maggie Dewhurst said: “Going on holiday is becoming increasingly difficult for couriers because, while our costs continue when we are not working, our pay stops. So despite the myth peddled by employers that gig economy jobs are flexible, many of us are spending more time at work than full-time employees. That’s why with this case we are not only trying to claim back what we are owed, but securing paid holidays going forward.”
IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: “For most workers booking your holiday requires filling out a form and a sign-off from your manager, at CitySprint it requires an employment tribunal every time. The fact that CitySprint can get away with this makes an absolute mockery of the UK employment law regime.”