Sunday, September 08, 2019

Chris Johnson’s Update On MyTaxi (Now FreeNow) Employment Tribunal - Summer Update

*MyTaxi (now FreeNow) Employment Tribunal - summer update*

Further to your fantastic support in raising £18,000 to bring an employment tribunal claim against the taxi app booking company FreeNow - I am bringing you a short update regarding our progress.

As I’ve discovered, bringing a legal challenge against anyone requires a significant amount work to frame the argument and fully explain to our lawyers the legal challenge that you are seeking to bring - in short, the lawyers argument is only as good as the information and detail that they receive.

Over the last year or so, I have produced five bundles of documentation over many painstaking hours to clarify that I was/taxi drivers are “limb-b workers” and not “self employed contractors” as FreeNow claim that we are within their documentation.

I would like to add that the diligence that I have put into this case has been significant and I have left no stone unturned - this diligence is important to me on a personal level, given the fact that so many people have financially supported the case and anything less I consider would have been disrespectful to those backers.

I would like to extend my gratitude once again to the Independent Taxi Alliance “ITA" &  the Real LTDA who have been fantastic supporters and an equally important "thank you" to everyone who has helped me get to where we are today.

Dates to note:

27th September is the date for producing a finalised paginated bundle of evidence;

18th  October is the date for the exchange of witness statements;

Skeleton arguments follow some time after in preparation for the employment tribunal hearing in early January 2020.

*Change to the driver T&C's - why understanding what Uber does is important.*

You’ll note that sometime in the spring 2019 Uber changed their driver terms and conditions – it is widely considered that they will struggle to win their employment claim against their drivers in the Supreme Court. As such, Uber drivers will be rightly classified as “workers" rather than “self employed contractors” this will eventually further raise tensions whether Uber are liable to pay VAT on the full fare as the “supplier” of the transportation services.

It's alleged that Uber's cynical change to their drivers T&C's is reflective of an acknowledgement that they will lose their supreme court employment challenge and subsequently lose the argument that they are not liable for VAT on the full fare.

What Uber will probably say is: *“hey yeah, we accept our employment and VAT liability and here you go, here is all of the £ millions of pounds that we owe, but we only owe this on the old driver T&C's – look, we have a shiny new set of driver T&C's and there is no way that drivers can be “workers” under these terms"*

This is the usual "fuckwittery" of Uber and these "gig economy" companies - trying whatever trick in the book to avoid their financial responsibilities.

So, it seems that Uber are attempting to give themselves a “lifeboat” to jump into once they get spanked by the employment courts and the VAT man.

*I’ll leave you to be the judge as to why FreeNow changed their driver T&C's.*

I'll continue to show my disappointment that our trade publications advertise companies that are deliberately trying to undermining the employment and VAT laws - those laws that grant employment rights to workers & pay for our vital emergency services and hospitals - as such, I'll never understand the advertising policies of the taxi publications.

I’ll next update you when I have further information.

Once again, thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Chris.

@InThePinkTaxi

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