We read Chris still needs £5400 in 20 days
If the 300 odd who have donated, put in again it would need about £16 each.
I’m sure we can get it over the line. I will definitely be putting in again, but it’s going to need a big push from everyone again.
I will definitely be doing that!
Latest update on MyTaxi - Worker Rights.
Just an update.
After an amazing start to our campaign to raise £18,000 we have somewhat slowed down - we need to hit the £15,000 target by the end on November and £18,000 by the end of December.
Therefore, to hit these milestones by these dates we have just over £5,400 to raise within the next 20 days - can I ask that you please help to share the crowd justice link as widely as possible?
I'm aware of some friction on social media and would like to share some thoughts on what an employment tribunal could achieve:
Here are my thoughts on why an employment tribunal is the right thing to do and what we could expect to gain - I hope you will think about supporting.
Uber VAT liability because they are the principal?
The European court recently decided that Uber are a transportation provider instead of a software company, the UK employment tribunal service decided that Uber drivers are limb-b workers instead of self- employed contractors because Uber "control" the driver, thus making Uber London Limited the "principal" in the contract. Jolyon Maugham argues that because Uber London is the "principal" then they must be subject to VAT liability on the whole fare – I think we all agree on this point - when I was a member of the LCDC we financially supported Jolyon.
Therefore, does "control" of the driver amount to VAT liability because of the fact, who is doing the "controlling" is the "principal"?
Could MyTaxi avoid VAT liability if they don’t "control" the driver?
We identified some time ago that if MyTaxi "control" the fares (fixed prices), suspend the driver for scrubbing jobs and deactivate drivers without reason etc. then there is a strong argument that they "control" the driver much in the same way as Uber "control" their drivers – should an employment tribunal agree that MyTaxi drivers are limb-b workers much in the same way Uber drivers are limb-b workers, then clearly MyTaxi would potentially be the "principal" in the contract, thus it’d be MyTaxi who are making the VATable supply, therefore, they would potentially be liable for VAT on the whole fare - just as Jolyon Maugham is claiming Uber London are.
If MyTaxi amended their driver T&C’s to reflect that we are independent drivers who "ply for hire" independently, didn’t do fixed prices and didn’t suspend or deactivate drivers without reason, and if any passenger complaint was dealt with by the regulator (TfL) instead of MyTaxi, then it’d be almost certain that MyTaxi was only our "agent" and not the "principal" therefore, not exposed to the claim that they "control" the driver in any way, furthermore, if they didn’t control the driver then there could be no way it could be argued that they were the "principal" and subsequently would not be exposed to any VAT liability claims.
Why is all of this is important for the future of the taxi trade?
In reality, both Uber & MyTaxi work in the same way, the only difference being the price the passenger pays – the only way that the taxi trade improves our position is by clarifying the employment status and VAT status on both taxi and private hire apps, we do this the following way;
(1) If Uber "control" their drivers then they must be the "principal" in the contract, therefore, it’s Uber London who is providing the VATable transport services – so, Jolyon Maugham must be right, Uber must pay 20% VAT on all of their fares.
(2) If MyTaxi don’t have any "control" over the drivers contractually or otherwise and the regulator deals with any passenger complaints, suspensions or revocations for bad behaviour and not MyTaxi, then it must be said that MyTaxi do not "control" the driver and therefore are not liable to employment claims or exposure to VAT liability as they are truly operating as a "non-controlling" "agent" for the driver – that said, this currently isn’t the case, because MyTaxi are contractually very controlling and they do suspend and deactivate drivers without reason and this will only get worse if not challenged.
What is the answer?
I believe that it’s very clear, private hire apps have to "control" their drivers because of the nature of the legislation, therefore, private hire companies are the "principal" in any contract so must be subject to VAT on the full fare.
If MyTaxi and all Taxi App companies want to "control" the driver, then they must equally be the "principal" in any contract and subject to the same employment & VAT liability as private hire companies like Uber - that said, if MyTaxi have no arbitrary "control" of drivers then they would avoid any employment or VAT liability.
MyTaxi is not going to give up this "control" freely, therefore, we MUST force them into a position whereby the only option for them is; (a) If they want to "control" drivers then that comes with employment & potentially VAT liability, or; (b) they release ALL "control" of the driver contractually or otherwise, and accept that they are a "non-controlling" agent for the driver – the only way we force this position is to support and employment tribunal case against them.
Moreover and even more important, if a passenger complains about a driver, then any decision to reduce a drivers ability to source work must be a licensing decision by the regulator and not a decision by an unregulated app company – should TfL decide to suspend or revoke a drivers licence and the ability to earn a living is reduced in any way then the driver has the magistrates court to appeal any restriction of work because of a suspension or revocation – this can be the only way that drivers are protected from arbitrary decisions from unregulated app companies going forward.
I hope this is clear.
Thank you for your continued support.