Union representatives have asked Transport for London why private hire drivers are being held at ‘a far higher standard of compliance’ than big name ride-hailing operators, as over 10,000 complaints and driver dismissals were revealed.
The comments from the App Drivers and Courier Union (ADCU) come after thousands of notifications of minicab driver complaints and driver dismissals were sent to Transport for London (TfL) by private hire operators over a 12-month period.
Operators providing minicab and ride-hailing services MUST complete forms and return them to TfL if the operator dismisses a driver because of his or her unsatisfactory conduct in connection with the driving of a private hire vehicle. Operators must, as a condition of their licence, notify the regulators in writing of the name of the driver and the circumstances of the case within 14 days.
Operators are also urged to send in the same form, called a ‘PHV/105’, to notify TfL of any serious complaints that they receive about a driver that is currently working for or has worked for them.
According to a FOI request, requested by the ADCU, the total number of PHV/105 forms that were submitted by licensed private hire operators to the transport regulators between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021 amounted to 10,169 forms.
A spokesperson from ADCU said via social media: “Uber and TfL have together generated 10,169 PHV105 forms. TfL is obviously determined to hold below minimum wage drivers to a far higher standard of compliance than they are prepared to hold Uber and other big money platforms to. Why?
“This is a question for Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.”
Operators are also urged to use the PHV/105 form to notify TfL of any serious complaints that they receive about a driver that is currently working for or has worked for them.
The form can therefore be used by an operator to notify TfL if a driver has been suspended from working for the firm, but also to provide outcomes of any investigation/review they have looked to undertake with respect to a complaint that was received.
The number of complaint forms received by the capital’s regulator pushed past 10,000 despite demand in the sector being heavily hit during pandemic.