The High Court took issue with the rideshare company’s background screening and other policies.
Why Uber Was Banned From London
A judge in the London High Court heard a case in which cab drivers asked that Uber not be allowed to operate locally. The judge ruled in favor of the cab drivers. There were several reasons, but the most prominent was an issue with Uber’s reportedly insufficient background screening policies.
After hearing both sides of the case, the judge agreed that there was cause for concern about the method Uber used to screen their drivers. It was noted that several of the company’s rideshare operators were found to have serious criminal convictions. The judge also expressed concern about the medical certificates drivers possess and some of the technology the company utilizes. This technology was said to have allegedly been used to help drivers evade law enforcement.
Following this decision, an Uber spokesperson stated that this shows the world “London is closed to innovative companies.” The rideshare giant also submitted an appeal. Ultimately, Uber was told that they would not be given a license to operate in London. The CEO sent a message to his team that reportedly said:
"While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I've learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it's worth examining how we got here. The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (and to be clear, I don't think we did), it really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another.."
Uber Had Been Issued A Temporary License
Prior to this case, Uber had been granted a temporary license to operate in London. The license was issued by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot. It was later learned that her husband works for a strategy firm that has clients who invest in Uber. This link was enough to raise eyebrows and warrant further investigation.
Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot stated that she was not aware of any connection between her husband and Uber. Other judges felt this was not a coincidence and reportedly believe the rideshare company has been “gravely misleading” them in their attempts to secure a license to operate. A spokesperson for the judiciary stated: “It is essential that judges not only are, but are seen to be, absolutely impartial.”
Prior to receiving this temporary license, Uber had made at least one other attempt to be allowed to operate in London. The company had requested a license the year before but was denied.
The Importance Of Running Comprehensive Background Checks
We’ve seen stories about people who were hired at Uber and later found to have serious criminal convictions. Issues like that can create distrust in a service provider. They are a major part of the reason Uber was denied a license to operate in London.
Background checks are an essential part of the hiring process. They help people make informed business decision, create a safe work environment and build trust with the public. Running comprehensive background reports shows you are performing due diligence and taking steps to protect your customers. Not running them can cause mistrust and even result in an inability to operate your business in sine preferred locations.
Are your background screening policies strong enough to build trust? If not, or if you have questions about how to improve your screening process, please contact us. Our experienced team is available Monday – Friday from 5am to 6pm to assist you.