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Uber trips in UK return to pre-pandemic levels

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<p>Uber is looking to hire 20,000 new drivers</p> (PA Wire)

Uber is looking to hire 20,000 new drivers

(PA Wire)

Uber has said passenger numbers in the UK have recovered to pre-pandemic levels following the easing of restrictions on hospitality businesses.

The ride-hailing app said booking had recovered faster than expected. For the week commencing May 17, Uber’s total bookings in Europe rose to more than 80 per cent of the level reported in the same period in 2019.

Trips taken during the morning commute (5am-9am, Monday to Friday) have recovered to 100 per cent of 2019 figures as people are beginning to return to offices, the company said.

To support the increase in demand, Uber announced earlier this year that it is planning to sign up 20,000 additional drivers nationwide. This is in addition to the 70,000 drivers currently active on the Uber app across the UK.

After a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, Uber began to comply with its legal obligation to guarantee drivers the national living wage, holiday pay and automatic enrolment into a pension scheme.

The company remains under scrutiny over how it is returning back pay to drivers who were denied workers' rights prior to the policy change.

In May, Uber began paying money owed to drivers for years of underpayment of the minimum wage and holiday pay.

But under a controversial piece of legislation introduced in 2015, companies can limit claims to two years.

It means many Uber drivers who were denied their statutory rights for several years are receiving less than they anticipated.

Ash Kebriti, Uber general manager for the UK, said: “Following the swift roll out of vaccines in the UK, people are travelling on the Uber platform just as much as they were before the pandemic.

“We are now looking to sign up 20,000 new drivers across the UK, as cities continue to recover. All drivers who use Uber are guaranteed the national living wage, holiday pay and a pension.”

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