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.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : Embrace the future where we can sack you without explanation a any time!
Question...."Will you undertake to get Chris a reason why he was expelled from the circuit?"
Answer...."We don't have to give a reason!"
Do you really believe this attitude is good for the trade?
Is this what you want for your future?
Is this what you did the knowledge for?
Don't forget, it's what people want, it's the future, we've been told time and time again to embrace the future..... (Mainly by people who don't drive cabs for a living but make a living off the backs of cab drivers)
When they have all the work, they can virtually make you redundant at any time!
Will they expell you for refusing too many trip offers?
Will they expell you for making derogatory tweets against the company?
(Our largest org is currently doing this with little to no resistance from its membership!)