Up to 12,500 taxi and private hire drivers working for the operator Veezu could be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation after being denied holiday pay and the National Minimum Wage. Law firm Leigh Day is currently acting on behalf of drivers working for Veezu, which owns more than a dozen local taxi companies using booking apps with various brand names across England and Wales.
Veezu currently treats its drivers as self-employed contractors, but drivers claim they should be treated as workers and given the appropriate workers’ rights and protection under employment law. Employment lawyers at Leigh Day argue that the way Veezu operates - including allocating drivers’ jobs, fixing their rates and penalising them for declining jobs – means drivers qualify as workers. The claim against Veezu is similar to Leigh Day’s ongoing worker status claim against another taxi company, Bolt. Given the similarities in how Bolt and Veezu drivers work, Leigh Day believes there is a strong case that Veezu drivers should be classified as workers and receive compensation for holiday pay and any shortfalls between their pay and the National Minimum Wage. The legal action follows the success in the Supreme Court for Uber drivers, also represented by Leigh Day, who won a similar claim. The court ruled that drivers working for Uber should be classified as workers and given workers’ rights.
Veezu, which uses a similar business model to Uber, has taken over several local taxi firms in towns and cities across England and Wales, many of which have their own smartphone booking app.
Veezu operates the following local taxi brands across England and Wales:
Dragon Taxis (Cardiff, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, Cwmbran, Pontypool, Newport)
V Cars (Bath, Bristol, Swindon, Chippenham)
SN1 Cars (Swindon)
Go Carz (Wolverhampton, Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Walsall, Dudley, Birmingham, Solihull)
A2B Radio Cars (Birmingham, Solihull, Wolverhampton)
Amber Cars (Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Wetherby)
City Taxis (Barnsley, Chesterfield, Derby, Dronfield, Rotherham, Sheffield)
Excel Taxis (Sheffield)
Britannia Taxis (Knowsley, St Helens, Liverpool, Wigan, Warrington, Widnes, Sefton, Newton Le Willows and Earlestown)
ABC Taxis (Norwich, Norfolk)
Panther Taxis (Cambridge).
If the claims against Veezu are successful, the company will only be legally required to compensate those who have brought a claim. Leigh Day is acting under a ‘no win no fee’ agreement, which means drivers do not pay anything unless their claim is successful. Gabriel Morrison, solicitor in the employment team at Leigh Day, said: “We strongly believe that Veezu drivers should be treated as workers for the company and given the appropriate rights and protection under employment law. As with other similar claims, we are confident that we will ultimately be able to help Veezu drivers achieve workers’ rights. All taxi and delivery companies using this type of business model should be aware that they cannot continue to short-change their hard-working drivers.”
A Veezu spokesperson, said: “We have not received any formal notice about these claims and we are confident that our position on the status of the driver partners operating via Veezu is lawful.” The claim is open to all drivers working for Veezu and its partner taxi companies in the last 10 weeks.