Uber implements mandatory breaks for United Kingdom drivers

Uber implements mandatory breaks for United Kingdom drivers

According to Reuters and Bloomberg, a new Uber policy would make it a must for all the drivers in the United Kingdom to take a minimum of a six-hour break after working for a continuous ten hours shift.

Uber said last month almost a third of its 50,000 drivers in Britain are logged into the app for more than 40 hours a week, whilst just under 8% are online for more than 60 hours.

A statement said: "We believe this is an industry first and are not aware of any other private hire operator in the United Kingdom that has introduced such a limit". Telling drivers they must take breaks also undermines one of Uber's favorite talking points, that drivers can be their own boss and set their own schedule.

Andrew Byrne, Uber's head of policy, said: "Licensed drivers who use our app really value the freedom and flexibility to choose if, when and where they work".

Critics have blasted the new rule from Uber, dismissing it as a cynical PR stunt that won't provide real benefits for drivers or customer safety.

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But the association that represents black cab drivers told the BBC it was "a toothless cap".

"Uber can't claim its drivers are self-employed and aren't subject to minimum wage, but then try to limit the hours that they can work". While Uber has said the majority of its drivers are part-timers, critics have argued that these drivers actually work as much as full-time taxi employees, and should be treated as such.

Uber is now appealing another legal decision, following a tribunal ruling in November that stipulated it must treat its drivers as "workers" entitled to the minimum wage and holiday pay.

The new policy, which takes effect next week, is unusual because the company has rarely anxious about its drivers, or proactively implemented policies for their well-being. "Like many others, this company still has a long way to go to achieve that".

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