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Transportation United Kingdom

Uber Says UK Drivers Will Take Mandatory Breaks (cnet.com) 37

Uber is introducing a new policy on drivers' hours across the UK next week, which it says will help to increase safety for drivers and passengers. From a report: Drivers for the ride-hailing service will have to take a continuous six-hour break after the time spent on trips with passengers and on their way to pickups reaches 10 hours. The company announced the decision Tuesday, saying it believes this move is an industry first in the UK. The company has been criticized in the past over its handling of workers' rights and has faced resistance in the UK. Uber lost its license to operate in London in September. In October, a London court ruled that its drivers should be classified as employees instead of as contractors
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Uber Says UK Drivers Will Take Mandatory Breaks

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  • Seriously? After 10 hours they should be down for at least 10 to sleep. Not that it matters, they can just get another account.
    • Or they just open their app for the other company that they drive with and use that instead. This isn't really going to stop anyone who doesn't want to quit.

      How big of an issue is this anyways? I would imagine that most drivers aren't pulling 10 hour shifts to start with, though there may be a few that have nothing better to do.
    • As someone that works Seattle Hundreds that is 16 hours a day Mon-Thu and 12 hours a day Fri-Sun, it's sad that you think people should be so lazy as to require 10 hours off after only 10 hours of work.

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        Leaving aside your lack of productivity by working too many hours, you're not driving a car for that period.

        Tired drivers have more accidents. That's a bad thing.

  • Never reach it (Score:4, Informative)

    by PReDiToR ( 687141 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @01:12PM (#55939999) Homepage Journal
    The time they're calculating doesn't include sat around waiting for a job, and that is the way their drivers spend a lot of their time.

    There's a reason they can get you a cab in less time than a proper taxi, and that is it. They are sitting around empty, being tempted to pick up illegally to get work.

    Unfortunately for the customers and other road users, if they run into someone or something whilst going along a one way street the wrong way (they're famous for it over here) and they have picked up a passenger without a booking through the phone program, they're not insured!

    Customers need to learn and understand all the crazy things about this toxic company and their predatory pricing, oversupply, complete disregard for road safety and the disdain for properly regulated authorities investigating their illegal business.

    Can't wait to see the back of them in the UK.
    • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @01:43PM (#55940261)

      make uber drivers take the knowledge test!

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wrong kind of taxi.
        Black cab (the kind you hail or get from a taxi rank) drivers in central London need to take the knowledge.
        Minicab (the kind that you call a dispatch office for) drivers do not.

        Uber is a minicab service in the UK

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          Uber is a minicab service in the UK

          And there are minimal laws around minicab services as well... Just about anyone with a crappy 1.2 Citroen Saxo can become a minicabber (although most decent ones have repmobiles like a Vauxhall Insignia). You just have to sit a license (which the driver pays for) and have commercial insurance (which the driver arranges and pays for). All the minicab company needs to do is ensure they comply with these laws... and Uber cant even do that.

  • industry first? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @01:13PM (#55940015) Journal

    It is an industry first indeed. The rest of the UK taxi industry obey the fucking law.
    https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hou... [www.gov.uk]

    10 hours a day, not 10 hours then a 6 hour break. Fucking uber.

  • so does on their way to pickups = on the clock for pay by hour now + mileage?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is good news for Lyft, since those drivers will focus on fulfilling requests on that app during their Uber downtime

    Note that this is speculation about Uber and Lyft in the UK. If this break comes over to the US, that's exactly what will happen for sure since so many drivers work for both

  • Isn't this just another point which shows that the drivers are employees, not contractors?

    • Isn't this just another point which shows that the drivers are employees, not contractors?

      No. Safety regulations normally apply to both employees and contractors.

      Have you ever seen a sign at a construction site that said "Hard hats required unless you are a contractor"?

      • That's not quite the same.

        It's a requirement to go onto a site and applies to everyone, irrespective of their relationship with the site management.

    • by dshk ( 838175 )
      Uber drivers work with their own equipment, whenever, wherever they want, whichever long they want. Except some safety restrictions. If this is employment, then what is contract work?
  • Meaningless... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HockeyPuck ( 141947 )

    Atleast in the US, most drivers use both Uber and Lyft. So how will the authorities enforce a driver alternating between the two or driving one for the maximum and then switching over to the other?

  • If this were a move to improve conditions for drivers, it would not be bound by geography. This would be a global policy for the benefit of all Uber drivers.

    Instead, these seems to only be just enough of a concession to try to appease British regulators and lawmakers to get them off Uber's back.

    Still not re-installing the app.

    • Basic human need? Irrelevant.

      This is so unfair to our robotic coworkers who are not given breaks. The robots should strike (or take over civilization) until they get breaks at least a long as human breaks.
      • I know you're joking, but from what I've seen automated equipment like self-checkouts and order kiosks, they're down more than human employees.

  • Will give them greater opportunity to also drive for Lyft.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein