Lawyers working on a class action against online agents including Purplebricks have said they will be ready to send a letter before action in weeks.
Pressure group, Contractors for Justice, has proposed a Group Litigation Order to highlight “unfair working practices” that have meant local property experts have missed out on benefits.
Inspired by recent legal cases involving Uber drivers, the premise of C4J's claim is that, in law, these self-employed agents were in effect employed for the purposes of holiday pay and pension contributions. The claim is for as much as 20.7% of each person’s total earnings
A leaked document, seen by Estate Agent Today, reveals that a letter before action will go out in “the coming weeks.”
The claim is being brought on a no-win-no-fee basis and the letter warns that former self-employed Local Property Experts, Local Agents and Territory Owners must sign up by the end of April to get a discounted rate of 25%, after which it will rise to 40%.
The document says: “Given we believe we are pushing at an open door and that defendants have little or no defence, we believe that this matter may be settled out of court and without the need for us to commence a court action.
“In such circumstances, if we reach an agreement by way of settlement, it will preclude any other parties citing our case if they wish to bring action themselves.
“We would strongly urge you to speak with your colleagues and advise them to join our claim sooner rather than later or they may well miss the boat in this regard and face the costly exercise of bringing a claim themselves without any guarantees of success.”
Purplebricks has previously remained unconcerned by the action, stating: “We have always taken legal advice in regards to our model – and the advice is very clear that there is no legal basis for this potential action. The service we offer our customers is completely unaffected.”