Working on a Taxi or Private Hire App – What does it mean?

Back in September 2017, I was suspended from the MyTaxi app in a 27-second phone call and then subsequently terminated from the App in April 2018 – I allege that this is an unfair deactivation for blowing the whistle, hence, why I’m bringing an employment tribunal claim.

I want to take the emotion out of the argument for a second and explore the facts in regard to what questions an employment tribunal could potentially raise;

1. If we look back at the Uber drivers employment tribunal, the private hire regulatory framework was discussed at length with Uber’s lawyers claiming that Uber is just the drivers “agent” and the driver is a self-employed contractor – this argument was rejected by the Judge on a number of factors, one being the “control” that Uber hold over their drivers and another being the regulatory framework i.e. the fact that Uber drivers are not independent workers because they cannot operate independently and are reliant on Uber accepting the App booking and sending them the job.

2. Uber & TfL both claim that Uber drivers are not “plying for trade” and the App job is a “pre-booking” therefore, was the only reasonable conclusion the employment Judge in the Uber employment tribunal could come to, was that; if Uber hold a significant workplace “control” over the driver i.e deactivations without reason and it’s Uber who are accepting the booking as a “pre-booking” in line with the private hire legislation, then, is it safe to conclude that the Uber driver is a Limb – (b) worker with certain employment rights?

3. What is certain with MyTaxi is that taxi drivers have been deactivated from the App without any real reason given, the question is; does this and other contractual requirements show that MyTaxi have as much “control” over the taxi driver as Uber have over their private hire drivers?

4. There is no secret that I’ve asked MyTaxi many times prior to my sacking; am I plying for hire on the App, or are MyTaxi accepting the App job as a “pre-booking”?

5. If MyTaxi is accepting the booking as a “pre-booking” and has a similar level of “control” over the taxi driver that Uber has over their drivers, then why wouldn’t taxi drivers also be classed as Limb – (b) workers with certain employment rights?

6. However, if MyTaxi argues that I am (as taxi driver) operating independently via the App and MyTaxi have no “control” over me - then can it be said that I must be “plying for trade” independently via the App?

7. Conversely, if Uber keep arguing at the employment tribunal that their drivers are operating independently as independent contractors, then can it said that Uber drivers must also be “plying for trade” independently via Uber App? 

8. So an interesting question arises, is the status of an independent worker in employment law linked to whether a driver is independently “plying for trade” or not?

9. This, in my opinion, is such a valuable discussion within the employment argument for our working practices via Apps in the future.

from Taxi Leaks
via IFTTT Editorial October 20, 2018 at 12:05AM Working on a Taxi or Private Hire App – What does it mean? Call 01908 263263 for airport taxi service Milton Keynes Area