Uber to suspend accounts of drivers with COVID-19 Virus
By Daisy Okanga
Uber says it plans to suspend accounts of its drivers and delivery persons who are either diagnosed or affected by corona virus.
The company said those affected will be quarantined for 14 days while their accounts will be blocked. “Some drivers had already been helped and this was done to quickly implement this worldwide.” However, the amount of financial assistance has not been specified.
In a guidance published online, the company said: “We may temporarily suspend the accounts of riders or drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to Covid-19.”
But it added: “Any driver or delivery person who is diagnosed with Covid-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority will receive financial assistance for up to 14 days while their account is on hold.”
The corona virus cases has risen steadily globally with more than 10000 in Italy, more than 1000 in the United States (US) and 456 in the United Kingdom (UK). Uber said that workers who were not sick or quarantined, but who were uncomfortable reporting for work during the outbreak, will not be penalized.
Self-quarantined employees in the UK can access statutory sick pay from the first day they are off – but it is unclear if or how this applies to gig-economy workers, such as those who work through Uber.
Uber said it is working with the riders and drivers to help curb the spread of the virus. The company has a team working 24/7 to support public health officials responding to the outbreak. The company said it is responding to requests from those officials regarding account suspensions.
“Working with them, we may temporarily suspend the accounts of riders or drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19,” Uber says. “We’re also consulting with an epidemiologist to make sure our efforts as a company are grounded on medical advice.