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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I work as a sole trader in the taxi trade. I rent the use of

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I work as a sole trader in the taxi trade. I rent the use of a vehicle from an owner, who is a member of a private members company, which operates the radio circuit. This company issues "discipline fines" against drivers or owners it believes to have contravened company rules. I am not their employee, and I have no contract of any kind with either the vehicle owner or the company. I am required to pay a fixed penalty fine of £50 for an alleged breach of a non-specific company rule within 7 days, or submit to a discipline hearing (without legal representation), consisting of members of the private members company, where I could face much higher "fines" and/or time off the circuit. Are such fines even legal?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do they ask you to pay them voluntarily or are they deducted from your pay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I retain all my earnings, and pay a rental to the vehicle owner. I received a letter from the company asking for payment of the fine, or attendance at a discipline hearing, 5 weeks after the alleged infraction, and with few details. Some detail has been added due to my email request to do so. So, essentially, the request is for a voluntary payment, or face the prospect of a higher fine and time off the air if I proceed to a hearing.
Such fines can be legal but only if they have included it in their terms or any contract you are working under. If that is not the case, then forcing you to pay this fine would be rather difficult. So they cannot actually take you to court for example if you refuse to pay. Sayign that, they will have other powers to make things difficult for you. As you are self employed you are not protected under any employee laws which give you protection against unfair dismissal. So they could terminate your employment simply by giving you the notice you are entitled to receive. Similarly, they do not have to give you any hours of work, unless these were guaranteed by contract. So again, they could just refuse to give you time off and keep you out of work. So the fines can be challenged and it will be difficult for them to be able to force you to pay, but if you do not, then they can do other things which will make your employment with them difficult. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, they have that ultimate sanction of removing my pin number to access the radio circuit, but they have no other hold over me; there are no contracts or agreements of any kind. I guess that I would have to be willing to move to another company in order to pursue this, and I will need to consider that carefully. Thanks for your time and advice.
You are welcome, I hope this has helped in making the right decision