Two Northampton minicab drivers have launched a legal case against the local operator which allocates jobs for them. The two men claim they should be entitled to holiday pay and pension contributions.
Supported by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, who have been successful in cases against minicab firm Addison Lee and ride-hailing giants Uber, the two drivers are arguing their entitlement to a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay, pension contributions and collective bargaining rights. A spokesperson for the local firm, Bounds Cars, state that every single one of their drivers are self-employed, not held under any contract and have the freedom to work elsewhere with other firms if they wish. Drivers are not required to pay any rental fees during any periods of holiday either, the spokesperson added. The IWGB say by being classified as independent contractors, the drivers are being denied basic employment rights. Shafqat Shah, one of the two claimants, said that he’s worked for Bounds for eight years on and off, and during that period he has always been denied basic rights. He added, the firm has bought rival operators to aid its growth but has always claimed it is unable to give drivers paid holidays and pension contributions. Shah said: “We owe it to our families and each other to keep on fighting.” As reported in the Northampton Chronicle, the IWGB will point towards the level of control the firm has over its drivers, therefore should give them the same entertainments as workers or employees.
A spokesman for Bounds said there were systems in place to achieve a high level of service. "We, like every firm in the country, charge a fixed fee and supply the driver bookings. We do not stipulate what time they start or finish, the agreement allows them to come and go as they wish and there are no restrictions on the number of hours they can work or the number of bookings they can receive. "We must stress that each and every driver is self-employed and has the choice to move to another company any time they wish.
"The majority stay with us as we have, being the largest fleet, the ability to provide a far quicker service than most and consequently have secured a much larger percentage of the work within the town.
"It, therefore, follows that they have the potential to increase their earnings."
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