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Uber Fraud, Mutuality and the Taylor Review

Industrial Law Journal, Forthcoming

9 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2017 Last revised: 14 Nov 2017

Ewan McGaughey

King's College London - School of Law

Date Written: August 14, 2017


The Taylor Review (July 2017) was a squandered opportunity to address the problems of employment rights and tax evasion in today’s economy. This note summarises the four main groups of Taylor’s recommendations. It explains why relabelling employment statuses, more secondary legislation, cutting holiday pay, and ‘softening’ labour rights will solve little. It explains why a test for employment status highlighted by Taylor - ‘mutuality of obligation’ - has not formed part of binding UK Supreme Court jurisprudence since Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher. It then discusses what the Taylor Review did not: gig economy fraud, and ensuring corporations do not evade rights and tax. In Aslam v Uber BV [2017] IRLR 4, [96] the Employment Tribunal found Uber provided an ‘excellent illustration... of “armies of lawyers” contriving documents in their clients’ interests which simply misrepresent the true rights and obligations on both sides’. ‘Contriving’ to ‘misrepresent’ something means at least civil fraud. Uber, and firms like it, are objectively dishonest by the standards of ordinary honest people. In London alone, where Uber claims it has 40,000 drivers, it may be evading up to £112 million every year. Such evasion of tax and rights enables exemplary damages.

Keywords: Uber, Fraud, Taylor, Dishonesty, Mutuality of Obligation, Bargaining Power, Universal Declaration, Labour, Employment, Rights

JEL Classification: K12, K31, K21, K34, K42

Suggested Citation

McGaughey, Ewan, Uber Fraud, Mutuality and the Taylor Review (August 14, 2017). Industrial Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Ewan McGaughey (Contact Author)

King's College London - School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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