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LPHCA to ‘consider the implications’ of Court ruling that could affect ALL PHV operators nationwide

The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) are to ‘consider the implications’ of a High Court ruling which could affect private hire licensing not only in London, but across England too.

The comments follow a landmark ruling yesterday, where the High Court Administrative Court refused Uber’s application declaring its gig-economy business model must change.

The ride-hailing firm sought a declaration from the High Court that it is lawful for Uber’s drivers to continue to contract directly with Uber’s passengers for transport services. Uber had argued that its role was confined merely to that of an internet booking agent and that it was not a party to any contract for the provision of transport.

Lord Justice Males and Mr Justice Fraser handed down the ruling which the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) say the misclassification has been used to shield operators from employer liability, legal liability to their customers and for payment of VAT.

The ruling will fundamentally restructure the private hire industry in London as almost all 1,832 TfL licensed operators have used this model of operation since the industry first came under regulatory supervision in 2002.

A spokesperson from LPHCA said in a statement: “The LPHCA’s legal team will now consider the implications of this ruling and decide what advice to give to members."

The statement went on to add: “There is much speculation about the implications, however the facts will need to be established after a considered study of the ruling by the LPHCA’s legal and accountancy experts.

“We will keep LPHCA members informed nationally as whilst the ruling has its roots in London, the implications are almost certainly national for taxi & PHV operators taking instant and advance bookings.”

Graham Robinson, General Manager of TfL Taxi and Private Hire, said via a notice to the industry: “All London PHV operators will need to carefully consider the High Court’s judgment and take steps to ensure that they comply with it, including considering whether any changes to their way of working are required.

“Transport for London will be considering the written terms of those applying for or renewing a licence and looking at operators’ terms during the period of the licence.”

An Uber spokesperson said: “This court ruling means that all the details of the Supreme Court decision are now clear. Every private hire operator in London will be impacted by this decision, and should comply with the Supreme Court verdict in full.

"Drivers on Uber are guaranteed at least the National Living Wage, holiday pay and a pension plan but we’re not the only player in town. Other operators must also ensure drivers are treated fairly.”

Uber have confirmed that they will be reviewing the latest court judgment and will comply with the decision.


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