Uber will cap driver hours to 10 or 12 hours within 24-hour period in the UK

Lynsey Barber
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Uber will take greater control over hours worked by drivers (Source: Getty)

Uber will cap the hours drivers can work amid concerns over the working conditions of those in the gig economy.

The ride-hailing firm has told MPs that it's working on technology to limit the amount of time drivers can be logged in on the app within a 24-hour period, something that's currently in testing phase.

The exact number of hours work will be limited to is still to be determined, but "looks something like 10 or 12" said Uber's head of policy in the UK Andrew Byrne. It had looked at doing it over a week long period, but decided on a rolling 24-hour period after consulting safety research.

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It already calls drivers to tell them when they have worked long hours. However, he admitted the firm had not got a solution to monitoring drivers work outside of driving for Uber at the moment.

Telematics - technology that can monitor and collect data in cars - is already being used to monitor safety and drivers receive a weekly report on the safety of their driving. That includes whether they are accelerating or breaking too quickly among four or five different indicators.

A quarter of drivers work more than 40 hours per week. Byrne said it would provide MPs with more detail on drivers working more hours than this.

Byrne also admitted that it could not guarantee drivers get the minimum wage, as it could not determine costs such as fuel.

Uber estimates what it calls "average earnings" at £15 per hour after it takes its commission.

He said the firm was working on ways it could be more transparent on the issue of pay in line with suggestions made in the Taylor Review. "We recognise it's something we c an do better on".

Read more: Revealed: How much Uber made in the UK last year (and its tax bill)

The business, energy and industrial strategy committee is probing Matthew Taylor's review into the gig economy, published over the summer.

Uber is currently appealing a landmark employment tribunal decision which last year ruled that two drivers are not self-employed, but employees of Uber. A decision in the case is expected around Christmas.

Byrne also told MPs that it would cost Uber "tens of millions" of pounds if the decision was upheld.

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