Uber, Ola Drivers To Get Financial Assistance, Compensation to Fight with COVID-19
If tested positive for corona virus, both Uber and Ola are working out ways to provide financial assistance for up to 14 days on loss of work to drivers or their family members.
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Uber, the global ride hailing giant is aware of the problems and is taking care of their driver partners who are diagnosed with COVID‑19 or are individually asked to self‑isolate by a public health authority by giving them financial assistance for up to 14 days while their account at Uber is on hold. Uber is trying to implementing this worldwide.
While Ola, India’s largest mobility platform, says it would cover loss of income for driver-partners and their spouses in case they test positive for COVID-19. All eligible Ola driver-partners and their spouses shall be covered by a floater sum of Rs. 30,000 under which they can receive a compensation of INR 1000 per day for a maximum of 21 days for an individual from the date of a positive diagnosis for COVID- 19. Drivers can make a claim for this compensation for themselves and (or) their spouse by providing appropriate medical documents. The company has also partnered with a leading Online Doctor Consultation App, Mfine, to provide free medical help for driver-partners and their family members. Mfine brings over 500 leading doctors from across India on its platform, allowing users to consult online instantly with a few clicks, without having to risk physically visiting a clinic or hospital during this time.
In the wake of the aggravating coronavirus crisis in India, Uber and Ola, the country’s two leading app-based taxi services, have suspended all services in Delhi till March 31.
While the country goes into a lockdown, Work from home becoming the new norm and travel advisories being issued. Cab aggregators and their driver partner are on the receiving end. Typically a driver working with either Uber or Ola earns about Rs.1500-2000 per day by working 12-15 hour shifts. Most of the Cabs running on either platforms are purchased on loans of the bank, apart from the EMI’s the drivers also have to pay for the State Tax between Gurgaon, Noida and Delhi on a monthly or a daily basis along with the fuel and maintenance.
Before the mass lockdown was announced, the cab hailing services had begun sanitizing the cars by providing the drivers with disinfectants. “Supplies are very limited, but we’re partnering with manufacturers and distributors to source as much as possible. We’ll be prioritizing distribution to drivers in cities with the greatest need”, said Uber. The companies are also issuing advisories to drivers to maintain hygiene “Clean and wipe frequently touched surfaces in your vehicle.” Ola is operating Partner Care Teams 24x7 for any concerns that may arise for Driver Partners and Customers respectively.
The Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers on March 22 had suggested that "Ola and Uber need to set up a task force consisting of various members from various internal departments to ensure continuous monitoring and support for all stakeholders along with drive care teams, safety response teams available 24x7 for any concerns that may arise for drivers and customers respectively".
While the Cab Aggregators are working with their Drivers in sanitizing vehicles and trying to provide financial support incase the driver gets infected by COVID-19, but the harsh reality is there are no customers. With central and state governments implementing lockdowns, there are simply no one travelling. With their income going down and monthly EMI’s just around the corner, the situation is grim for drivers on these platforms.