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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:35 pm 
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Location: Swindon
Hi everyone,

This is a long post but please stick with it.

I have read a post previously in this forum regarding the, Self Employed or Employed status of certain taxi drivers.

I have been on to the inland revenue but as usual am just waiting and waiting for a reply.

I am trying to finalize my status as to whether i am Self Employed or Employed - but apparently inland revenue only have two status officers, hence the time in getting back to me.

Is there any body in this forum who can possibly help me with regards to this issue.

I am a private hire driver for a local company, of which i rent my radio from them and i also rent my car from them as well (although the car is rented from a subsidary company of taxi company - but ultimately are owned by one company).

They seem to have control over me with regards to the work they allocate me and also can log me off if for instance i am not up to date with my car rent or radio rent, thus i am unable to work!

If i am self employed then so be it, but i have no control of the work i recieve. The only real control i have is the hours i work as i dont have to work pre detemined hours.

If on the other hand i am employed then surely they would have to pay a minimum wage for every hour i put in and pay my tax and national insurance.

Please can someone offer me some advice.

This has all come from a previous post which can be found at:

http://taxi-driver.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtop ... ght=skippy

and i just want things clarified.

Thank you so much for being patient with me and i look forward to hearing from anyone with some info.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:57 pm 
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Location: Plymouth, i think, i'll just check the A to Z!
Your self-employed. Most PH companies operate in the same method. and im sure if you where not paying the office rent then most would log you off too.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:00 pm 
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chrisgc wrote:
They seem to have control over me with regards to the work they allocate me and also can log me off if for instance i am not up to date with my car rent or radio rent, thus i am unable to work!

IMHO you are 100% self-employed.

The fact that you rent your vehicle/radio doesn't really mean much, because you could (I'm assuming) buy your own car tomorrow, and still work with the firm.

Also if you was employed then I suspect you would be set certain hours to work, and for that matter, when not to work. We do have an operator on here who does employ drivers, but in this trade they are very few and far between.

But look on the bright side, Swindon might soon be de-limiting, so you will be able to have your own HC plate. \:D/

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:30 pm 
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chrisgc wrote:
I have read a post previously in this forum regarding the, Self Employed or Employed status of certain taxi drivers.



A hugely interesting question and one that's very difficult to answer.

I think it depends on the individual circumstances, but there are so many different scenarios that it's difficult to give a straightforward answer.

Take the typical London cabbie at one extreme, for example - he owns his own vehicle, can come and go as he pleases and answers to no one (except the PCO :lol: ).

At the other extreme are journeyman drivers who do not own a vehicle, work set hours, wear a company uniform, have to accept orders like to clean the car, and are maybe even paid an hourly wage - they may be treated as self-emloyed but I'm reasonably sure that if the case was taken to court then they would be deemed employees, but to my knowledge the issue has never been decided by the courts.

It's the scenarios between the two extremes that are more difficult. For example, a PH owner-driver may pay a fee and will be subject to some control by the office, he may have ultimate control and of course owns the vehicle he drives. On the other hand, if the driver doesn't own the car and is subject to a large amount of control then that points to being an employee.

The distinction is based on case law, and not on statute, so basically it comes down to what the courts decide, and there are umpteen cases on the issue, but non specifically relating to the trade as far as I know (there may be one case, but I think it's pretty narrow and doesn't help much regarding the various scenarios that could arise).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:38 pm 
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Have a look at this from the Inland Revenue site - told you it was complicated :D

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/index.htm

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:25 pm 
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I agree very complicated.

I think the easiest way to simplify the Inland Revenues decision fall down to one single factor.

Do you buy the fuel or do the company? That simple factor seems to be their major influence.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:18 am 
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Sounds like it would be a bit too easy just to choose the status by deciding who pays for the fuel.

On the assumption that if the company pays for the fuel then that means employee, then it would clearly be quite easy for the company to just tell the drivers to pay for the fuel and up their commission rate a bit.

Thus this would largely amount to window dressing, but I think the legal test is looking at the substance and past any attempts to window dress the issue.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:06 am 
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Hi Chris,

The Inland Revenue does have a specific department just dealing with the employed or self employed status of individuals. I have read the replies you have received so far.

In a nutshell, there will never be a single factor deciding whether you are classified as beign employed or self employed. In order to estalbish the facts of this case, I will need more information from you. The Inland Revenue will look at various factors, just to name a few:

1.If you make a mistake by driving your customers to the wrong address, does this come out of your own pocket or does the firm cover this?

2. Do you operate your own taxi, arrange for it to be cleaned yourself, pay for your own petrol etc or does the firm do this for you?

3. If you are ill, do you have to arrange for a replacement driver yourself of does the firm do it for you?

If you are not sure then please contact me.

Good luck.


Josh Botham
Tax Partner
The Deco Partnership
01323 638833


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:51 pm 
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Location: Swindon
Thanks josh for your comments.

I have contacted my local tax office - they have said they will contact me but after various phone calls to them they dont seem to ever get back to me!

These are the answer to your questions:-

1) Mistakes in the taxi proffesion are very rare (ie. going to the wrong place) as you would ask customer where they are going to first. But in the case of maybe going a long way round (we are meant to use the shortest route) we would then 'knock' a small amount off the final fare so the final cost would be the same as using the shortest route.

2) The taxi i use is rented from a subsidery company of the taxi company who supply me with my work (via a databox which has my jobs on).
It has been put to me that the car should be kept clean by myself and i pay for all my petrol.
The mot/tax/servicing is the companies responsibility and not mine.

3) If for some reason i am ill i am simply not paid for the time i have off as i will not be able to work and get any fares.

I hope this helps.

I am currently registered as self employed as this was what i was informed to do - but once i read someone elses posts on the taxi forum about if the company supplies me with the vehicle and work then i would be classed as employed - so this is what i intend to find out.

Another important note is that if for some reason my car rent or radio rent is not paid up to date, they have the right to log me off thus making it impossible for me to get jobs through on my data box.

Also they usually wont let you work in between the hours of 1am - 6.30am unless you are registered as a night worker with them.

If you get an account job (where the amount is not paid by the customer but the appropriate amount is tapped into the data box and sent through to go towards your radio rent the following week) and for whatever reason you dont accept it they state that they can log you off for not accepting the job!!

They also state that you cant wear shorts!!!

This gives them control over you as it suits them yet i am supposed to be self employed.

If you can help any further it would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much
Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:18 pm 
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chrisgc wrote:
Hi everyone,

This is a long post but please stick with it.

I have read a post previously in this forum regarding the, Self Employed or Employed status of certain taxi drivers.

I have been on to the inland revenue but as usual am just waiting and waiting for a reply.

I am trying to finalize my status as to whether i am Self Employed or Employed - but apparently inland revenue only have two status officers, hence the time in getting back to me.

Is there any body in this forum who can possibly help me with regards to this issue.

I am a private hire driver for a local company, of which i rent my radio from them and i also rent my car from them as well (although the car is rented from a subsidary company of taxi company - but ultimately are owned by one company).


If you are in business on your own account, you are self-employed.

Quote:
They seem to have control over me with regards to the work they allocate me and also can log me off if for instance i am not up to date with my car rent or radio rent, thus i am unable to work!


As a self-employed person you have the option to take your money somewhere else or indeed set up your own private operation. Renting a vehicle with radio does not mean you are employed or under contract to them in any way. You will of course hire the radio system on their terms, unless you have negotiated your own terms but you can walk away any time you please.

There is case law on this site appertaining to self-employed status.

Regards

JD


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:50 pm 
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Chrisgc, go to the link that you posted and just e mail sutcliff at the dti and they will tell you, once and for all, I think you will find that your an employee, as you don't own any of the equipment or the car


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:25 am 
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In order to be classed as employed "there must be a wage or other remuneration. Otherwise there will be no consideration, and without consideration, no contract of any kind.

See these three cases for assistance on employed status. Carmichael v National Power is the precedent in most employment status cases. Third one down.

http://www.taxi-driver.co.uk/phpBB2/vie ... php?t=2357

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cg ... _1612.html

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cg ... 99/47.html
................................................................


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:14 am 
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JD what about the polish drivers who work for taxi-fast in Plymouth, they must be employees ????? and therefore must have the same rights as an employee. They have been brought over just to work for them and from the figures I have seen are being riped of left right and center :sad: :sad: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :x :x :x


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:04 am 
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skippy41 wrote:
JD what about the polish drivers who work for taxi-fast in Plymouth, they must be employees ?????

I think they are classed the same as the locally born lads.

Yes they rent the motors and the radios from Mr Preece, but there's nothing stopping them doing work (ignoring the licenses issue), maybe in their own time, for someone else. :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:47 am 
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skippy41 wrote:
JD what about the polish drivers who work for taxi-fast in Plymouth, they must be employees ????? and therefore must have the same rights as an employee. They have been brought over just to work for them and from the figures I have seen are being riped of left right and center.


What is Employee status we ask ourselves?

Not being privy to the contract of these foreign workers it would be wrong for any of us to specualte the terms of such contracts? For the purpose of understanding the law on employee status I have gone to the trouble of furnishing you with the following information.

One of the main conditions that must be in place to determine the status of employment is the employment doctrine of "mutual obligations".

A striking example of non mutual obligation can be found in the Court of Appeal case of Mingeley. The case can be found on TDO and centres on a taxi-driver who brought a race discrimination claim against the proprietors of Amber Cars, which allocated calls to drivers.

Although he wore the Amber Cars uniform, and was wholly dependent on them to provide paying passengers, he was free to work or not to work as he pleased. The court concluded that there was no "mutuality of obligation".

The tribunal accepted that in the real world, the applicant would make himself available to work so he could earn a living. But they insisted that the test was not the "commercial reality" but the strict "contractual position".

In upholding this decision, Buxton LJ pointed out in the Court of Appeal,

"this case illustrates again the difficulties potentially caused in discrimination law by the fact that in 1976 Parliament decided not to impose a general obligation not to discriminate against persons on grounds of race".

The ECJ decision in Allonby, which concerned the exclusion of agency lecturers employed under contracts for services from the Teachers Superannuation Scheme. Emphasising the link between gender and non-standard working, the Court held that a "prime facie" breach of the principle of equal pay under Article 141 would be established if it could be shown that there is a much higher percentage of women than men who fulfil all the conditions for membership of the pension scheme except that of being employed under a contract of employment as defined by national law.

Moreover, the Court held that, for the purposes of Article 141(1), a worker is a person 'who for a certain period of time, performs services for and under the direction of another person in return for which he receives remuneration'. This excludes 'independent providers of services who are not in a relationship of subordination with the person who receives the workers'. Expressly distancing itself from domestic courts' obsession with finding mutuality of obligation, the Court stressed that the fact that there is no obligation imposed on them to accept an assignment is of no consequence in the determination of whether they are in a relationship of subordination.

The pivotal word I have highlighted above, is "remuneration" without remuneration of one kind or another it is dificult to see how a contract of employment can support the bond of employer and employee. This is expresley so for the purpose of Taxation and the meaning of "obligation". Unless of course such an undertaking is given in a contract of employment?

The bottom line is that the terms of any written contract will normally determine the status of employment. Obviously several conditions have to be met before employed status can be founded.

The position at the moment is that a person who rents a radio and vehicle from a third party, does not render that third party liable as an employer, unless other conditions are in place.

Regards

JD


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