The founder of Cab4Now.com left the London minicab industry for good back on 14th April 2016 and will not return. It has changed beyond all recognition since he first drove a London minicab – a Ford Cortina Mark 5 – as an owner driver in 1985.
A reminder of the time when professional Addison Lee drivers were paid fairly is in the screenshot. Uber earnings were higher – more expenses though – and for my London taxi and private hire friends they’re here.
UberX drivers we have spoken with have family members that are dependent on them either in the UK or overseas. In most cases they are the sole income provider and most receive a variety of benefits. We say most because some were less inclined to share what benefits, if any, they received as a result of their low net income.
Addison Lee drivers are in a similar precarious state. Earnings have collapsed by 50% since the screenshot from Twitter.
Our founder’s position on this is very simple. If you need benefits to stay self employed then, sadly, your business model has failed and it is time to get a job.
Clearly, though, the growth of Uber shows no signs of slowing. However, in London, the opportunity that Uber and the failed Addison Lee now provides is the very antithesis of self employment. The test of self employment fails in so many areas. Our founder was the first voice to predict the collapse of Addison Lee back on 8th February 2019 in writing at Cab4Now.com. But many years earlier via Twitter. We’ll find the tweets one day. 😉
Research by Citizens Advice has suggested that as many as 460,000 people could be falsely classified as self-employed, costing up to £314m a year in lost tax and employer national insurance contributions.
The financial secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison, announced in October 2016 that HM Revenue and Customs was launching a specialist unit to investigate companies who opt out of giving workers employment protections by using agency staff or calling them self-employed.
This is nothing new as Steve Williams writes in his excellent book Introducing Employment Relations – A Critical Approach. But the scale with which the new on demand “sharing” economy has grown is frightening. Uber has grown by British taxpayers subsidising most of their “self employed” drivers by tax credits.
Uber is a giant corporation pursuing monopoly power and fighting governments the world over. What exactly is being shared here, and in whose interest?
What is explicitly not shared is responsibility. When something goes wrong with Uber, they just say: “It wasn’t me.” (The mega-corporation is purportedly neither buyer nor seller but innocent middleman.)
It was time that the founder of Cab4Now.com stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man. So he did and returned to his home of 20 years in Malta. He doesn’t miss the commute. 🙂
However, he is sad that his prediction about Addison Lee has come to pass. John Griffin, the founder of Addison Lee, knew that one of the keys to success was happy drivers. Earnings at Addison Lee have now dropped even further since 2016. The Angry Addison Lee driver in the screenshot earns £5 per hour in 2020 which is ridiculous and explains the collapse of Addison Lee.
Cab4Now Direct was closed in January 2020 due to changes at Google maps and the Cab4Now map plugin provider which we had neither the time nor inclination to implement the changes required for it to continue to function.
We launched the Cab4Now taxi, private hire and chauffeur booking platform on Monday 1st June 2020. It was originally to be used exclusively for UK tourists visiting Malta and for the hundreds of requests that John receives personally each year for a taxi, private hire driver or chauffeur.
However, it made sense that with the volume of enquiries Cab4Now.com now receives from past clients and new readers visiting Malta who need a taxi, private hire or chauffeur that we should introduce some select partners.
Every driver partner is vetted personally by the founder of Cab4Now.com. We now offer both on demand and pre bookings.
We now also have apps for Android and iPhone to support our clients and driver partners.
So, John’s now out of retirement after four years and is standing by for your booking. Ready to rock? We are! And that’s our story… so far. 😉