Car Industry

Uber says UK drivers will take mandatory breaks

Drowsy drivers can kill, so Uber has decided to enforce rest breaks.

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Uber drivers in the UK will be required to take a break after 10 hours on the job starting next week.

Drivers for the ride-hailing service will have to take a continuous six-hour break after the time spent on trips with passengers and on their way to pickups reaches 10 hours. The company announced the decision Tuesday, saying it believes this move is an industry first in the UK.

The company has been criticized in the past over its handling of workers' rights and has faced resistance in the UK. Uber lost its license to operate in London in September. In October, a London court ruled that its drivers should be classified as employees instead of as contractors 

"While drivers only spend an average of 30 hours a week logged into our app, we want to do our part to ensure they don't drive tired," said Uber UK Head of Policy Andrew Byrne.

"That's why we've been sending drivers regular reminders to take rest breaks and why we're now bringing in these new limits," he added.

First published, Jan. 16, 6 a.m. PT.
Update, 6:16 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Uber.