English Uber alles in London taxis? No way, TfL – taxi app titan

Flings lawsuit at capital's transport regulator

Uber is embroiled in another legal battle over Transport for London’s new rules, which will require all drivers to take a compulsory English test.

The multi-billion pound taxi app company has faced bans and protests worldwide. Black cab drivers have taken part in protests bringing traffic to standstill many times, prompting TfL to draft a proposal to restrict Uber’s hiring process.

TfL announced that all minicab drivers who are not from a majority English-speaking country must sit a B1-level comprehension exam to obtain a valid English language certificate, which will cost them £180. The new rules will be enforced from 1 October.

It’s not the only rule the regulator has imposed on private hire companies working in London. Cab companies must operate a call centre from London and drivers must have “hire and reward insurance” for vehicles the entire time they operate their vehicle – even when it’s not being used for private hire.

Uber recently set up a call centre in Ireland and opposes TfL’s rules about operating from the capital as well as the mandatory English test for foreign drivers.

The ride-share firm is also involved in another lawsuit with the trade union GMB, after the latter launched a legal challenge over the employment status of Uber drivers. Naturally, the company considers its drivers self-employed and thus not entitled to holiday pay or national wages, whilst GMB considers this unlawful.

Harsher regulations are coming into force for assetless "sharing" companies. Last week, Deliveroo, a food delivery company, said workers were not required to sign contracts that would see their salaries switch from an hourly rate of £7 plus £1 a delivery to a payment of £3.75 for each delivery.

Deliveroo bicycle riders had been striking in protest over the new payment scheme for over a week. ®

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