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Transport Uber 'jeopardises safety' by failing to limit drivers' hours

TAXI firm Uber could be putting passengers at risk by letting its employees work more than 80 hours a week, senior Labour politician Rachel Reeves said yesterday.

The Commons business select committee, which Ms Reeves chairs, asked the company to supply information about how long drivers spend on duty.

While Uber said that only 6 per cent of drivers worked more than 60 hours a week, it dodged questions over how many worked over 70 and 80 hours.

In March the company said it would limit the number of hours drivers can work after concerns were raised about drivers getting exhausted on the job.

Ms Reeves has written to the company demanding to know when such curbs will be enforced and what the limits will be.

“Drivers working long hours risk compromising the safety of both themselves and their passengers,” she said.

Transport for London revoked Uber’s licence to operate in the capital in September, saying that bosses had shown a “lack of corporate responsibility” towards safety issues, but Uber has continued to operate pending a court challenge.

The company also recently lost an appeal against an employment tribunal, which ruled that drivers were entitled to the minimum wage and holiday pay.

Drivers’ union GMB legal director Maria Ludkin accused Uber of “dodging and weaving” over “excessive” hours.

“They also need to address the issue of the incentives built into their technology to encourage drivers to keep driving during surge periods, even when the drivers themselves have decided that they have worked long enough that day,” she said.

An Uber spokesman said: “We take the issue of tired driving seriously, which is why we regularly remind drivers to take rest breaks and will shortly be introducing hours limits in our app.”

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