Delivery drivers for two franchises sought to recover unpaid wages and holiday pay entitlements from their employer. Their employer argued that they are contractors and therefore not covered by the minimum wage and holiday pay laws nor entitled to overtime payments, sick leave, superannuation and redundancy payments. The question for the court was – are these delivery drivers employees or contractors?

The Supreme Court found that the delivery drivers were in fact employees and entitled to all usual wages and holiday pay entitlements. Where there is uncertainty over employment status, it ruled that the Employment Relations Authority is able to decide on the employment status of workers because it would be the most efficient and cheap route for a determination. 

This decision is highly relevant in light of the international debate over workers’ rights in the ‘gig economy’ with jurisdictions such as Australia, the UK, and France all grappling with how to classify workers on apps like Uber and Deliveroo. Most decisions lean in favour of treating these workers as employees with minimum wage and holiday entitlements.


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Alan Knowsley