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NHS medical couriers launch landmark £1m holiday-pay claim

NHS medical couriers will be taking their contractor to court on Monday in a landmark holiday-pay claim for more than £1 million.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) will be facing NHS contractor The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) at the London Central Employment Tribunal.

IWGB general secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee will be representing 45 medical couriers who are claiming the sum for unpaid holidays stretching back up to 20 years.

TDL previously denied its couriers, who deliver emergency blood and pathology samples, basic employment rights such as paid holidays by wrongfully classifying them as independent contractors.

Following legal action by the IWGB in 2017 the company reclassified all its couriers as workers or employees, but TDL has never compensated the couriers for the years it denied them employment rights.

Ahead of the case Mr Moyer-Lee said: “Like so many other companies in the so-called ‘gig economy’, TDL behaves as if there are no consequences for repeatedly breaking the law.

“But the IWGB is going to fight for every pound of holiday pay that TDL refused to give its couriers over the past two decades. When the law is broken, someone needs to pay.”

The union believes that if the case is successful it could provide “a new powerful weapon” in the fight against the abuse of so-called gig-economy workers and other exploitative bosses that systematically refuse to give their employees paid holidays.

IWGB has successfully led campaigns and legal actions for precarious workers against employers such as Uber, Deliveroo, Addison Lee and the University of London.

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