Uber Taxi service ban in London by Transport for London.

Sexual assault scandals and failure to vet drivers were major areas of concern, say Transport for London
Niamh McIntyre Friday 22 September 2017

Transport for London has announced it will not renew ride-sharing app Uber’s licence, because it had identified a “lack of corporate responsibility” in the company.

The statement highlighted four major areas of concern:

1) The company’s approach to reporting criminal offences,

2) Mode of obtaining medical certificates,

3) Company compliance with Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on employees.

4) The use of controversial Greyball software to “block regulatory… access to the app”.

The company has recently been dogged by a number of corporate scandals in the UK and its international operations, which ultimately led to the resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick in June.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Uber has repeatedly come under fire for its handling of allegations of sexual assault by its drivers against passengers.

Freedom of Information data obtained by The Sun last year showed that the Metropolitan Police investigated 32 drivers for rape or sexual assault of a passenger between May 2015 and May 2016.

In August, Metropolitan Police Inspector Neil Billany wrote to TfL about his concern that the company was failing to properly investigate allegations against its drivers.

He revealed the company had continued to employ a driver after he was accused of sexual assault.

 According to Inspector Billany, the same driver went on to assault another female passenger before he was removed.

The letter said: “By not reporting to police promptly, Uber are allowing situations to develop that clearly affect the safety and security of the public.”

DBS CHECKS AND MEDICAL RECORDS

This month, TfL informed Uber that background checks on thousands of its drivers were invalid. The drivers were given 28 days to reapply for the procedure, or risk losing their licence.

In a separate controversy over the vetting of its employees, The Sun revealed Uber drivers were able to obtain falsified medical certificates which gave them the all-clear for service.

WORKPLACE CULTURE

The company has also been rocked by a series of revelations about sexual harassment and sexism in the upper echelons of the company.

In February, Susan Fowler, a former engineer at Uber, wrote a 3,000-word blog post about the toxic culture in its Silicon Valley office.

The furore that followed led to two external investigations which uncovered 215 separate complaints about sexual harassment and other workplace practices, and saw 20 employees fired.

CEO Travis Kalanick resigned shortly after the investigation’s findings were published.

This move will not affect Londoners so much as there are alternatives in London area which, might not actually be as costly as Uber and safer.

Proper vetting of employee is crucial when they are in contact with people of all ages and circumstances. If they failed in this then they don’t have the credibility to serve the public especially vulnerable people in our society who needs protection.

It’s also a shame for law abiding citizens working with the company in London area who will have to loose their means of livelihood because of some less desirable elements in the company management. Some have taken out a finance on a the car they work with and this could be an unwelcoming news to them and their finances.

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