Excessive working hours by Uber drivers

Meeting: 
MQT on 2016-11-16
Session date: 
November 16, 2016
Reference: 
2016/4103
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

What steps are being taken to investigate revelations reported in the Sunday Times newspapers on the 6th November 2016 that Uber  drivers are working excessive hours, with documentation  seen by the newspaper showing one driver having worked a 91-hour week and interviews undertaken by the newspaper on 2nd November of 12 drivers at Heathrow finding three drivers admitting to working 16 hours or more a day.

Answer

Answer for Excessive working hours by Uber drivers

Answer for Excessive working hours by Uber drivers

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am aware of increasing reports of drivers working excessive hours within both the taxi and private hire industries and I agree this is a serious concern. While the control of driver working hours is not something that falls within TfL's regulatory remit, drivers do have a responsibility not to drive when tired. TfL will review a driver's and/or operator's fitness to remain licensed where there is evidence that they are not discharging their public safety responsibilities.

You will be aware of the recent test cases brought before the Central London Employment Tribunal in relation to the terms and conditions of two drivers working via the Uber app. On 28 October, the employment tribunal ruled that these drivers are entitled to the most basic workers' rights, including a maximum 48 hour average working week, to be paid the National Minimum Wage and to receive paid holiday, which were previously denied to them. This is a decision that I welcome.

I am encouraging all companies to pay their employees the London Living Wage, which I recently increased from £9.40 to £9.75 an hour. An additional 309 employers have signed up to pay their staff the London Living Wage over the last 12 months and I urge all London's private hire operators to make the same commitment.