A Guide for Taxi Drivers, Owner & Operators

This guide helps to provide a brief overview of the important provisions of the Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination 1984, which applies to Drivers in the Taxi Industry within the Greater Metropolitan Transport District (as defined in section 108 of the Transport Administration Act 1988 (NSW)).

 

It provides for minimum terms and conditions of engagement between a driver of a taxi cab and a taxi owner/operator.

Any taxi owner/operator engaging taxi drivers must display a copy of the Taxi Industry (Contract Drivers) Determination 1984 in a clearly visible location at their place of business and/or depot.

It applies to a contract of bailment of a taxi cab in the Greater Metropolitan Transport District as defined. (as defined in section 108 of the Transport Administration Act 1988 (NSW)).

A copy of the Determination must be made available for drivers. Taxi owner/operators are required to display a copy of the Determination in a clearly visible place which is available to the driver.

The provisions of the Determination cannot be changed by private agreement.

It applies when you drive a taxi cab in the Greater Metropolitan Transport District. Different provisions apply to driving taxi cabs in country and regional areas.

Penalties may apply. Failure to comply with the Determination is a breach of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 and can result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000 being imposed on a taxi owner/operator.

The provisions of the Determination can not be changed by private agreement.

A bailee is a driver who holds a current NSW Taxi Driver Authority and takes a taxi cab on bailment from a taxi owner/operator, known as a bailor. Taking a taxi cab on bailment means an agreement to drive the taxi cab under the conditions of the Contract Determination. A driver can be permanent or casual.

Taxi and hire car drivers are required to hold a Passenger Transport Licence Code on an unrestricted Australian Licence.

The Licence Code provides for safety standards that are the responsibility of the taxi provider (owner/operator) to ensure that drivers:

  • Pass criminal checks;
  • Are medically fit to drive;
  • Have an unrestricted driving licence for at least 12 months in the last 2 years; and
  • Pass English testing.

Permanent: a driver who regularly takes a taxi cab on bailment from the same taxi owner/operator for:

  • 5 shifts per week; or
  • At least 220 night shifts per year.

Casual: a driver who is not permanent and is not entitled to any leave.

A shift means the usage of a taxi cab by a driver for a period of at least 9 hours, as agreed between you and the driver.

A day shift means a shift of at least 9 hours but no more than 12 hours, where at least 75% of those hours are between 3am and 3pm.

A night shift means a shift of at least 9 hours but not more than 12 hours, where at least 75% of those hours are between 3pm and 3am.

A permanent driver is someone who regularly takes a taxi on bailment in the following circumstances:

  •  5 shifts per week; or
  •  At least 220 night shifts per year.

A casual driver is someone who is not permanent and is not entitled to any leave.

A driver can be paid by a set percentage as a commission, or can be paid a set pay-in from the takings to the taxi owner/operator and keep the balance remaining from chargeable fares.

If the driver is required to wear a distinctive style of dress or uniform, the taxi owner/operator must provide and launder it free of cost to the driver.

There are 2 methods of payment, as set out in Schedule 1 of the Determination. They are:

Commission – Method I

Industry experience will determine the commission percentage. First year permanent drivers are entitled to 45% of all chargeable fares taken, including GST. Casual or second and subsequent year permanent drivers are entitled to 50% of all chargeable fares taken, including GST. A driver can retain all tips.

Set Pay-In – Method II

The driver pays you a fixed amount at the end of each shift. Maximum pay-in rates can be downloaded from the NSW Industrial Relations website.

You must give an election form to any driver.

The driver is to return a completed and signed election form to you before the commencement of the first shift, and again within 90 days. You must give the driver a receipted copy.

The driver chooses the payment method, which can either be commission or a set pay-in. The driver confirms the payment method chosen and signs the Payment Election Form, which is given to the taxi owner/operator. A driver should not be pressured or victimised by the taxi owner/operator when exercising their right to choose the payment method.

Yes, you must be given a signed and dated receipt for each payment you make within 14 days of the completion of the shift.

The taxi owner/operator must also provide you with an invoice that is a GST Compliant Tax Invoice no later than 14 days after the completion of each shift.

The invoice can include more than one shift and must include the taxi owner/operator’s name, ABN, the driver’s name, pay-in rate and total paid to the driver.

Yes, the taxi owner/operator must keep records for 6 years. These records include;

  • Payment Election Forms;
  • Driver log book forms;
  • Copies of all invoices and receipts issued to the driver;
  • Payments made by the taxi owner/operator for annual leave, sick leave and long service leave;
  • Any monies deducted by the taxi owner/operator or any bonds paid by the driver to the taxi owner/operator.

A permanent driver must be given one week’s notice or payment in lieu of notice. No notice is required for a casual driver.

Yes – if you are a permanent driver, then you are entitled to annual holidays on the completion of at least 220 night shifts or 230 day shifts within a 12 month period or on termination of the engagement. The annual leave payment is determined by the payment method chosen either Method I - Commission or Method II - Set Pay In.

Yes – if you are a permanent driver, then you are entitled to 5 days sick leave in the first year of the engagement. Pro-rata sick leave is available on the completion of 55 shifts in the first year of engagement.

A driver will be entitled to 8 days sick leave for each second and subsequent year of being a permanent driver. Payment for sick leave is determined by the payment method the driver elected. Any untaken sick leave accumulates.

Yes, you may be entitled to long service leave if you have worked for the same taxi owner/operator continuously as a permanent driver for 5 years or more.  

No, failure to comply with the Determination is a breach of the Industrial Relations Act 1996. A breach can result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000 being imposed on a taxi owner/operator. 

You must generate and maintain copies of the following records for 6 years:

  • GST compliant tax invoices with specified particulars as outlined below;
  • Records relating to the calculation and payment of annual leave, sick leave, long service leave and payment for down time entitlements of drivers;
  • Records relating to any monies deducted by you or bonds deposited with the owner/operator by the driver;
  • All Schedule I election forms;
  • All Schedule II Driver Log Book forms (as completed by the driver);
  • Receipts for each payment made by the driver.

Tax invoices

You must provide the driver with a GST compliant tax invoice no later than 14 days after the completion of each shift. Each tax invoice can include more than one shift. The tax invoice must include the following information:

  • Name of the legal entity of the taxi owner/operator;
  • The Australian Business Number (ABN) of the taxi owner/operator;
  • Name of the driver; and
  • For each shift, the date of the shift and the pay-in rate; and the total paid to the taxi owner/operator by the driver.

For a permanent driver, you must give the driver one week’s notice or payment in lieu of notice. No notice is required for a casual driver. 

It is a breach of the Determination to offset leave entitlements for a lower pay-in rate.

Annual leave

A permanent driver is entitled to annual leave on completion of at least 220 night shifts or 230 day shifts within a 12 month period or on termination of their engagement. Annual leave is to be calculated differently depending on the choice of method of payment.

Period of bailment - 3-12 months on termination of contract

Commission – Method I - 4/48 of the driver’s total entitlement from the chargeable fares.

Set Pay-in – Method II - The rate set out at Item 3 Table 2 of the Determination.

Period of bailment - 12 months

Commission – Method I - 5 weeks equal to 5/47 of the driver’s total entitlement from chargeable fares during those 12 months.

Set Pay-in – Method II -5 weeks paid at the rate set out at Item 2 of Table 2 of the Determination.

Sick Leave

In the first year of bailment a permanent driver is entitled to 5 days of sick leave. Pro rata sick leave is not available until 55 shifts have been completed. In the second and subsequent years of bailment a driver is entitled to 8 days of sick leave. Any untaken sick leave will accumulate.

For Commission – Method I the average earnings per shift over the preceding 3 months are used to work out the rate of sick leave. For Set Pay-in – Method II the rate of sick leave is set out at Item 4 of Table 2 of the Determination.

Long Service Leave

A driver may be entitled to long service leave if they have worked for the same taxi owner/operator continuously as a permanent driver for 5 years. 

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