A homeworker is considering legal action against The Co-operative Travel Group to recoup nearly £6,000 in lost commission on forward bookings after leaving the company.
Jacqui Ridler was one of Personal Travel Advisors’ top-selling homeworkers, with a turnover of almost £1 million a year as a cruise specialist, until she left in March to join The Luxury Cruise Company.
The commission payments are on bookings up until April next year.
Under the company’s contract, self-employed homeworkers who leave the business are entitled only to commission on bookings that have departed, not on forward bookings.
Ridler claimed the contract meant homeworkers could not afford to leave the company. She fears others could suffer the same fate.
“When I started I wasn’t sure what it all meant and I wasn’t thinking of leaving, but once you are in the job you cannot leave because you can’t afford to lose your commissions,” said Ridler, an Association of Cruise Experts ambassador and finalist in the Agent Achievement Awards in 2009 and 2010.
She argues that despite being self-employed, she was often treated in the same way as employees, with a minimum working week of 30 hours, a rota and set targets.
In a tribunal last year, Holidays First homeworkers proved they were treated as employees, rather than homeworkers, which meant they had the right to claim back money from the company.
Ridler is now taking legal advice in the hope she can reclaim most of her commission on forward bookings.
Sheena Darby, head of sales and operations at The Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors, declined to comment.
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