Uber offers insurance cover to its drivers across Europe

PA

Taxi hailing firm Uber is to offer insurance cover for its drivers including sickness, injury and maternity and paternity payments, it announced.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the company had focused too much on growth and not enough on its workers.

He said: "We called drivers 'partners', but didn't always act like it.

"An important part of being a good partner is being a good listener.

"Drivers have told us that they enjoy the freedom of being their own boss and choosing if, when and where they drive.

"But drivers have also told us they want more security and peace of mind, life's ups and downs such as an injury, sickness or having a baby should not come with all of the additional financial stress.

A man using an Uber App on his mobile phone (Matt Alexander/PA)
A man using an Uber App on his mobile phone (Matt Alexander/PA)

"Today we are announcing that we will provide a range of insurance coverage including sickness, injury and maternity and paternity payments for drivers in the UK and across Europe when they are on and off the Uber app."

The firm said it was launching a Partner Protection programme in partnership with insurer Axa, funded by Uber at no cost to drivers.

"This new product covers all eligible partners in the UK for major costs or lost income resulting from accidents or injuries that occur on trip.

An Uber driver waits for a fare outside the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham (Aaron Chown/PA)
An Uber driver waits for a fare outside the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham (Aaron Chown/PA)

"It also provides protection for major life events that happen off trip like severe sickness and injury, maternity or paternity leave and jury duty," he added.

To be eligible for the off-trip insurance, a driver must have completed 150 trips in the previous eight weeks.

The scheme starts on June 1 and will cover more than 150,000 Uber workers across Europe, including 70,000 drivers and couriers in the UK.