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CitySprint issues response after bike courier wins employment rights in tribunal


CitySprint is calling on Government to better support businesses such as itself after a recent tribunal case which saw a bike courier who worked for the firm win employment rights.
Bike courier Margaret Dewhurst delivered items such as clinical notes, blood samples and prescriptions to a range of hospitals in London travelling up to 50 miles a day, four days a week whilst working for the company.

At a Central London Employment Tribunal Judge Joanna Wade ruled that Ms Dewhurst should have been classed as a worker rather than a self-employed cyclist and should be paid for two days of holiday she had taken.

The case could open the floodgates for thousands of couriers to also seek back pay. It follows a similar legal case with online taxi firm Uber last year which also saw drivers successfully argue they were employees rather than self-employed independent operators.

A spokesman for CitySprint argued against the idea that the ruling was a test case. “We are disappointed with today’s ruling. It is important to remember that this applies to a single individual and was not a test case,” said a spokesperson for CitySprint.

“Because of the complexity of the judgement we will be reviewing it in detail before making any further comment.”

“We enjoy a good relationship with our fleet, many of whom have worked with us for some time, and have always strived to help them maximise their earnings. Evidence presented at the tribunal confirmed that the vast majority of our couriers enjoy the freedom and flexibility of their current role. As was clearly highlighted in this case, CitySprint is a good company that pays its couriers some of the best rates in the industry.”

“This case has demonstrated that there is still widespread confusion regarding this area of law, which is why we are calling on the Government to provide better support and help for businesses across the UK who could be similarly affected.”

Image credit: Fotolia

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