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A taxi driver’s car rental payments and uniform costs should have been deducted from his pay for the purposes of meeting national minimum wage requirements, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Claimant Mr W Augustine was employed as a driver by taxi firm Data Cars. He claimed he had been paid less than the national minimum wage once vehicle rental and expenses for his uniform had been taken into account.
Augustine told the employment tribunal that he was required to pay fees totalling £160 per week to the company incorporating a “circuit fee” of £148 and an equipment rental fee of £12, which covered the booking dispatch system in his car.
Additionally, he began renting a vehicle from Data Cars and was required by Transport for London to acquire a certain level of insurance, which cost just over £2,000. There were also valet costs to keep the vehicle clean, which amounted to more than £300 while Augustine was working for the firm.
The initial tribunal ruled that the payments for vehicle rental and uniform fell outside of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, while the payments for insurance and valeting should be considered valid employment expenses.
It deemed that he was not obliged to purchase a uniform as this was only needed for a certain level of work. Similarly he had the option of being an “owner driver” and using his own car rather than leasing one from the company, so decided that these expenses fell outside the regulations.
However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has now ruled that these expenses were directly connected to his employment with Data Cars.
In the EAT’s