Uber offers free rides and food deliveries for NHS staff

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Uber is offering 200,000 free journeys to and from work to all staff with a valid NHS or HSC email address during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Under its offer, Uber said NHS workers could claim up to 10 car rides or cycle trips per week, each worth up to £15, and five meal vouchers. It said drivers would get the full fare on the trips as Uber would not charge a service fee.

Uber also said it would be offer 100,000 free meals worth up to £10, delivered through its UberEats service. A spokesman said: “NHS and HSC staff can choose to order a hot meal from a local restaurant, or essential items from a nearby shop, all delivered to their home or even the ward.”

Rival food delivery firm Deliveroo has also pledged to deliver 500,000 hot dishes to NHS Trusts from the likes of Pizza Hut and Neat Burger. Pizza Hut has offered to provide 300,000 of the meals. It is funding the effort through private donations and corporate contributions.

However, unions say the firms are still failing to support their own low-paid workers during the crisis.

Greg Howard, a Deliveroo rider and the secretary of the IWGB’s couriers and logistics branch, said: “It’s great that Uber and Deliveroo are assisting some front line workers, but its own workers are still being failed by the companies. Their coronavirus sick pay policies, at £100 a week, pay around the same as universal credit and some Deliveroo riders that had to self-isolate before March 21 are still being denied even these measly payments.

“Workers that are now facing deeper poverty because of the drop in demand for rides and deliveries are being offered no assistance by their employers. Riders and drivers are going above and beyond during this crisis to feed and transport people, they are overdue some basic protections and respect from their employers.”