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Leigh Day comments on decision by TfL not to renew Uber operating licence

Law firm Leigh Day have said they hope today’s decision by TfL, not to renew Uber's licence to practice in London, will force the company to reconsider its approach to employment rights and the safety of its customers.

22 September 2017

Leigh Day had threatened TfL with legal action if it did not impose conditions on Uber's Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Operator’s licence. In a letter before action sent to TfL, lawyers Leigh Day, on behalf of the GMB, had threatened to file a judicial review claim against TfL if particular conditions weren't imposed on Uber.

In particular, it argued that Uber should be required to have in place a guaranteed income scheme for Uber drivers in London to allow Uber drivers to earn a London living wage without working excessive hours.

However today’s shock announcement has seen TfL refuse to renew the licence and that the company is not ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence. The statement from TfL also said Uber demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility.

GMB members were also represented by Leigh Day in their successful case against Uber in the Employment Tribunal regarding the employment status of workers and their right to holiday pay and the minimum wage. This case is currently being appealed by Uber.

Rosa Curling, solicitor at Leigh Day, said: "We challenged Transport for London, as the licensing authority, over its decision to provide Uber with a licence to operate in London, without ensuring that workers' rights are properly protected and that the company is operated responsibly within the city.

"Today’s decision is a clear indication that TfL agrees; it has decided Uber London Ltd as a company is not fit to provide its services in London.”

Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said: “This historic decision is a victory for GMB’s campaign to ensure drivers are given the rights they are entitled to - and that the public, drivers and passengers are kept safe.

“As a result of sustained pressure from drivers and the public, Uber has suffered yet another defeat - losing its license to operate in London.

“It's about time the company faced up to the huge consequences of GMB's landmark employment tribunal victory - and changed its ways.

“No company can be behave like it's above the law, and that includes Uber. No doubt other major cities will be looking at this decision and considering Uber’s future on their own streets.

“GMB will always challenge bogus self-employment and tackling exploitation. “This decision vindicates our campaign and should be a wake-up call to a company that has for far too long been in denial.”

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