Nearly 10 Percent Of Uber's Drivers In The U.K. Are Working More Than 60 Hours Per Week

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

It’s well-known that some Uber drivers work dangerously long shifts, but a new letter from the company offers some additional insight into how many seem to be plowing through most of their week behind the wheel.

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Uber has about 50,000 drivers in Britain, and nearly a third are logged into the app more than 40 hours per week, Reuters reported. Uber disclosed the figures in a letter to U.K. parliamentarians on Wednesday.

Here’s more from Reuters:

The app has been attacked by trade unions and lawmakers who say that some of its drivers are working excessively, one of many criticisms it has faced about its business model.

A total of 2.6 percent of drivers are logged in for more than 70 hours a week and 0.8 percent for longer than 80 hours, according to the firm.

That’d work out to roughly 1,500 workers keeping attuned to their app more than 70 hours per week. But Uber’s head of policy in Britain and Ireland, Andrew Byrne, wrote in the letter that those figures don’t equate to total driving hours.

“Individuals are able to turn the app on and off at any time as well as decide when to take requests - this means that an hour logged into the Uber app is not the same as an hour of work,” Byrne wrote, according to Reuters.

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Uber plans to introduce a system next month that would limit the time that drivers could use the app, reports Reuters, but it’s not immediately clear if that would extend to just the U.K. or across the globe. An Uber spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A similar program that limited drive time to 12 hours was tried in New York City, according to reports.

Uber’s expected to go before the parliamentarians again after the New Year with “specific details” on how driver hour limits will be put into place, Reuters reported.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

DISCUSSION

Um, respectively, who gives a fuck? I’d be willing bet (a small denomination) more than 10% of all Americans work more over 60 hours a week. I mean I get the fact that Uber employees are driving around other humans, but considering if you drove to work for your job, drove as your job, and then drove to do anything else you’d probably accumulate over 60 hours a week as driving as well. If that’s your chosen profession and you want to live a lifestyle that requires you to work 60 hours a week then so be it. Otherwise get another job, live somewhere else or stop complaining.

Here’s a true story: Recently I got into an Uber in DC. One of the most expensive places to live in the US. The guy behind the wheel was probably in this 10% but he fucking loooooveeed it. This wasn’t his only job. In fact this enterprising immigrant owned several businesses in his native Mali, one was a construction equipment rental business. He used Uber to fund his purchases of dump trucks, diggers.. etc and he rented them out at a 100% capacity making big bucks for his family. He doesn’t need to drive Uber but he wants more. He wants more for his life, more for the life of his family and friends. This is a good dude, and he’s in pretty good shape even by DC standards.

Now, I realize that if you, Joe Shmoe, want to live in a big city and eat something other than Spam and Top Ramen you may have to work a little harder than your neighbor. Sometimes that means potentially putting additional tax on your body, vehicle and your personal time but until drivers are logging 12 hours a day I say let them be. From my experience thus far, they’re doing just fine.