Ride hailing and delivery giant Uber is trialling free childcare for Drivers.
The company is offering 1,000 of its UK staff 10 hours of free childcare, which, it hopes, will improve access to the higher wages available in the evenings and at weekends. The general manager of Uber UK, Andrew Brem said: ‘Over the last year I’ve spoken to many ambitious and hardworking drivers who told me that support with childcare would help them to earn more.
‘The cost of childcare is often a barrier for women in joining Uber, which is why we have launched an innovative new pilot for drivers.’
Uber’s scheme comes at a time when the cost-of-living is putting increased pressure on parents – many of whom are struggling to find the money for childcare. In last week’s budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, unveiled plans to offer parents with children nine months to four years 30 hours free childcare by September 2025. However, the staggered roll out of the scheme, high energy prices and a drop in the relative value of wages could mean workers continue to take a hit to their pockets.
Although drivers that work for Uber are now classed as workers, pressures faced by workers in the gig economy continue to hit the headlines. Data released by delivery driver earnings app Rodeo revealed that fewer London residents are offering tips as inflation squeezes households’ spare cash.
At the same time, driver safety remains an issue, with damning reports emerging about a customer who ignored a Deliveroo driver after he collapsed attempting to deliver food to a London address.
The Workers Union Says…
In March last year, we wrote: ‘There are opportunities for workers and platform driven companies to come to a more harmonious arrangement. But this will only be achieved by removing removing the uncertainties that surround that surround gig working and treating the hard-working people that provide our food, parcels and goods with respect.’
The last 12 months have indeed seen some changes, but more remains to be done to give workers in the gig sector a fair deal. Uber’s decision to offer childcare reflects a commitment to develop terms and conditions that meet the challenges faced by their employees. But other app-based providers need to step up their game to deliver a better experience for the workers that rely on their services.