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Uber rolls out health insurance for drivers across Europe

Sick pay and parental leave are also part of Uber's new Partner Protection.

Cars

Uber says it wants to do right by its drivers in Europe.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Uber will offer its drivers in European countries access to medical coverage and compensation for work-related injuries in an expanded version of the health insurance it started providing in France last year.

The ride-hailing company's Partner Protection will go into effect in 20 European countries on June 1 and offer 150,000 drivers sick pay, parental leave and bereavement payments.

The Wednesday announcement comes as Uber's new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, meets French President Emmanuel Macron. Khosrowshahi's visit coincides with the Tech for Good summit in Paris, with the heads of Facebook, Microsoft and IBM.

"We're committed to being a better partner, and that starts by being a better listener," Khosrowshahi said at the summit. "That's why I'm thrilled to provide this groundbreaking protection alongside a trusted insurer like AXA, giving our drivers and couriers the peace of mind they tell us they want while preserving the flexibility they value."

Uber has been trying to improve its image in the wake of sexual harassment cases, with the latest of these coming from a San Francisco-based female engineer who worked at Uber for three years.

The expanded insurance also appears to be a part of Uber's war against Lyft, as the rival companies try to win over drivers. For its part, Lyft said Wednesday that it's investing $100 million to build 30 driver support centers across the US.

First published May 23, 9:51 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:45 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Khosrowshahi.