The deadly coronavirus continues to spread panic across the world. To alleviate panic among Uber drivers, Uber has announced that it will offer compensation to any of them diagnosed with the coronavirus or placed in quarantine for up to 14 days.
This development comes after two British Airways luggage handlers at London’s Heathrow airport contacted the virus while working.
Growing panic of coronavirus is disrupting businesses
Over the last few months, businesses have been struggling to cope with the spread of the coronavirus, especially in highly affected regions. A product like Corona beer which coincidentally bears the same name as the virus is been affected adversely as patronage continues to drop.
Similarly, stock markets and commodities like crude oil and cryptocurrencies have all suffered a decline since the virus spread out of China.
Also, businesses like Twitter and Apple have encouraged their workers to work remotely from home to prevent infection.
However, the Uber business model essentially requires constant interaction between drivers and passengers. This means they cannot adopt the working from home method.
The fact that the virus spread essentially through body fluids could significantly affect Uber’s numbers because virus panic could plague drivers not to work or customers from leaving their homes.
Uber drivers to be compensated if infected or quarantined
In order to eliminate panic on its drivers, Uber says it has started compensating drivers in some markets and is planning to implement the same benefits for drivers and delivery people worldwide.
This means that Uber drivers in Nigeria will be compensated if diagnosed with the virus while working.
According to Bloomberg, Uber has already compensated 5 quarantined but non-infected drivers in Britain and Mexico.
Uber drivers don’t have health insurance
Uber has repeatedly argued that its riders are contractors and not full staff. This means that Uber drivers are not entitled to the labour laws that require employers to provide health insurance for employees.
Without compensation, the drivers would be exposed to the virus without any available mechanism in place to treat themselves if infected.
Therefore, this compensation not only serves as an incentive to mitigate coronavirus fears of the drivers but also as a safety net that guarantees funds to treat themselves if they contact the virus.
Although Uber didn’t disclose when it will be launched worldwide, Uber drivers in Nigeria may soon benefit from it since the virus is already in the country.
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