Uber introduces Coronavirus top-up sick pay for those with medical documentation

Transportation organisation Uber has announced a ‘top-up’ sick pay policy for its drivers and delivery workers, but will only pay it to those with medical documentation of either a Covid-19 (Coronavirus) diagnosis, or a health authority requiring them to self-isolate.

Under the temporary new terms, which will be effective until 6 April 2020, drivers will be provided with a top-up payment, in addition to their existing sickness insurance policy. Uber has not yet specified how much these payments will amount to, or how they will be calculated.

Trade union United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) has reported that, if Uber shuts down due to the pandemic, these payments will not continue. Additionally, the trade union has questioned the terms of the new policy, considering that the NHS is advising those experiencing symptoms to self-isolate without a diagnosis, and not to contact GP services.

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On 6 April 2020, Uber has stated it will reassess the situation and respond accordingly.

In a statement announcing the new sick pay policy, Andrew MacDonald, senior vice president, rides and platform at Uber, said: “The uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus is being felt across the world. But we know it’s especially concerning for anyone who relies on our platform to make a living. That’s why we are providing financial assistance to anyone who drives or delivers with Uber and is diagnosed with [Coronavirus] or placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority. This assistance is now available worldwide.”

James Farrar, chairman at UPHD, commented: “If Uber can’t provide sick pay and respect the legal right of drivers to earn at least the minimum wage even during this time of pandemic, then when can we ever trust them to do the right thing?

“It’s time for the government and licensing authorities like Transport for London to step in and insist on a fair deal for drivers as an ongoing condition of licensing for Uber.”