Uber is set to introduce a cap on the number of hours that drivers can work in the United Kingdom following criticism from MPs regarding the working conditions and after the MPs raised concerns regarding safety risks from working for long hours.
Drivers will be prompted to log out of the app and will not be able to accept rides for six hours following 10 hours of trips.
The troubled ride-hailing company has erred on the lower end of hours, putting into consideration whether the level should be set at around 10 or 12 after a probe that was initiated by MPs into the gig economy.
The tech firm informed them that the average number of hours that are worked by its 50,000 drivers is around 30 per week. A third of the drivers are logged in for over 40 hours per week and 16 percent ae logged in for less than 10 hours, while 2.6 percent were logging over 70 and 0.8 percent more than 80. Uber has since clarified that logged in time does not equate to the driving time of the drivers.
Last December, Rachel Reeves, the chair of the business, energy and industrial strategy committee, demanded that further information from Uber on how the efforts of the company to limit hours would eventually work in practice. The new policy on driver hours will come in starting next week.
Andrew Bryne, the head of policy of Uber, stated: “Licensed drivers who use our app really value the freedom and flexibility to choose if, when and where they work. And while drivers only spend an average of 30 hours a week logged into our app, we want to do our part to ensure they don’t drive tired.
“That’s why we’ve been sending drivers regular reminders to take rest breaks and why we’re now bringing in these new limits. On top of features like GPS tracking of every trip, it’s another example of how Uber uses technology to help enhance driver and passenger safety.”
The said move also comes amid scrutiny of the safety record of Uber, which has been noted by Transport for London as a reason for its decision to not renew the company’s licence to operate in London.