Uber has had a rough transition into the market in the United Kingdom. The app even lost its license to operate in London during 2017 unless the company improved passenger and driver safety, as well as driver pay. The ride-sharing app is now instituting changes throughout the United Kingdom in order to protect both its drivers and their passengers.
According to Reuters, Uber drivers in Britain will now have to take a mandatory six-hour break for every ten hours they spend with or driving to pick up passengers. According to Uber, close to a third of the 50,000 drivers the company has in Britain are logged into the app for more than 40 hours a week and over eight percent of the drivers are logged on for over 60 hours. During the rest periods, drivers will be locked out of the app.
“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,” said Uber’s UK Head of Policy Andrew Byrne.
“That’s why we’ve been sending drivers regular reminders to take rest breaks and why we’re now bringing in these new limits,” he added.
A labor union representative told Bloomberg that the new policy meant nothing if the drivers weren’t paid higher wages (which was causing the long hours).
“The reason drivers are fatigued is because they are not earning enough,” James Farrar of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain said in a statement. “Drivers are being made to pay for the consequences of corporate greed and regulatory failure.”
Uber added that additional changes to its UK operations would be on the way.