The tens of thousands of licensed drivers who use Uber are at the heart of our business – without them the app simply wouldn’t work. Over the last year, we have listened to thousands of drivers at dozens of events and roundtables, which has led to some significant changes including discounted illness and injury cover, in-app tipping and paid waiting time.

But we know there is more to do. That’s why today we’re launching a formalised driver feedback programme to make it easier than ever for drivers to tell us how we’re doing, and hold us accountable for changes. The programme – called UberENGAGE – will give drivers a voice in Uber, whether it’s for feedback on a new product, a voice in decisions that affect them or simply a new idea.

Once a week a panel of five drivers in each city will dedicate time to meet other drivers who use the app to gather feedback. This advisory group will then meet with senior Uber staff every month to discuss their findings. Uber will then have to report back each month with a detailed response to the feedback.

The creation of UberENGAGE follows Matthew Taylor’s recent Review of Modern Working Practices which highlighted the importance of self-employed people having a greater voice over issues that affect them.

The process will be overseen by an independent Review Board made up of three licensed private hire drivers who use the app and three people independent of Uber:

  • Natasha Grice, Virgin Trains General Manager, West Midlands – London Route
  • Polly Mackenzie, Director of Demos
  • Chris Bryce, CEO of IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed)

Their role is to scrutinise the application process for the Advisory Groups, as well as provide Uber with feedback and advice on how we grow the programme, which will initially launch this month in five cities before expanding across the UK over the coming months.

Tom Elvidge, Uber’s UK General Manager, said:

“Licensed drivers who use our app are absolutely vital to our business. Thanks to their feedback we’ve already made a number of improvements like investing in discounted illness cover and in-app tipping. But we know we can do a better job of listening to drivers and acting on what they say. Our new driver advisory groups in each city will not only formalise how we listen to drivers, but also help generate ideas for further changes we can make.”

Natasha Grice, Virgin Trains General Manager, said

“The private hire drivers that use the Uber app are the company’s greatest advocates and their input is vital to Uber’s continued success. I look forward to working as part of the Independent Review Board, sharing my experiences and thoughts on how best to nurture people to give them a real sense of purpose.”

Polly Mackenzie, Director of Demos, said:

“The best way to manage and regulate our labour market is to understand it fully; that has to start with a deep conversation with those in it. That’s why it’s good to see Uber making a real effort to understand what the private hire drivers that use its app need and want.”

Chris Bryce, CEO of IPSE, said:

“This initiative by Uber is incredibly forward-thinking and I was really pleased to be invited to sit on the Review Board. Having a full and open dialogue with drivers through UberENGAGE will help enhance the relationship between Uber and the independent drivers who enjoy the flexibility of being their own boss. I hope I can contribute to that process and help to ensure that everyone’s voice continues to be heard.”

Liz Hampson, one of the drivers on the UberENGAGE Review Board, said:

“This is fantastic. Uber has helped tens of thousands of people like me become their own boss and drive on their own terms. The UberENGAGE programme will really help drivers on the app to have even more say on how the app works.  I can’t wait to get started.”