Sheffield drivers secure right to work for more than one operator

pd website news sheffield

Sheffield taxi drivers have secured the right to work for multiple platforms after the council reversed a plan to force them to work for only one firm.

The council had proposed the change in a bid to reduce the number of jobs that are refused, as officials felt that drivers working on multiple platforms were only choosing more lucrative jobs.

But local drivers and the GMB union argued against the change. Driver Ibrar Hussain said: “Drivers should be allowed to work for as many companies as they want. The world is moving so fast but the licensing service is unfortunately in the 19th century and it is disappointing.”

GMB representative Nasar Raoof said: “Restricting self-employed drivers and telling them they can only work on one platform, I don’t think you’ve got the right to do that. They’re self employed and you can’t guarantee them an income. There’s a cost of living crisis we’re all facing. There’s a huge burden of costs to deal with.”

Under the new rules, drivers no longer have to display the name of the firm they work for on their cars, though car signage will have to be approved by the council’s licensing services department.

But City Taxis, the largest operator in Sheffield, supported the move to restrict drivers to just one company. Business development manager Paul Gosney said the move would have improved public safety and service levels.

The committee also agreed to introduce other new rules covering issues such as safeguarding, refusal of fares and overcharging.

Drivers’ ability to work for multiple platforms is central to the strategies of ride-hailing firms such as Uber and Bolt. It is permitted in London but not in some major cities, such as Manchester, for example.