Sheffield Council suspend Uber private hire licence to operate in the city

Uber in Sheffield
Uber in Sheffield
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Private hire firm Uber has had their licence suspended in Sheffield throwing the future of the city operation into doubt.

Sheffield Council made the decision after Uber 'failed to respond to requests from the local authority's licensing team about their management'.

Uber can still legally operate until December 18 and if they appeal, the firm can continue to run until a challenge has been heard.

Uber bosses cite they needed to make a name change on the licence and Sheffield Council made them apply again.

Ibrar Hussain, taxi driver and GMB union rep for drivers in Sheffield said: "Uber only have themselves to blame for this - the law does not allow does not allow the transfer of an operator's licence.

"They will now go through the proper processes and must meet the stringent standards in Sheffield which can only be good news.

"If they fall short for whatever reason then they should have their licence in the city revoked."

The news as Uber had their licence renewal refused in London and were knocked back in the Welsh city of Swansea last week. York Council are to decide the fate or the firm next week.

Brighton Council and Rotherham Council only granted six and 12 month contracts respectively.

In November, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld a ruling that Uber drivers should be classified as workers.

October 2016 saw the Central London Employment Tribunal rule in GMB's favour - determining that Uber drivers are not self-employed, but workers entitled to basic workers’ rights including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “Uber’s licence was suspended last Friday (29 November) after the current licence holder failed to respond to requests, made by our licensing team, about the management of Uber.

“It is legally allowed to operate up to 18th December, and if it chooses to appeal this suspension it can continue to operate until the appeal is heard. If it decides against an appeal the suspension will come into force.

“We received a new application, for a licence to operate taxis in Sheffield, from Uber Britannia Limited, on October 18, 2017 which we are currently processing.

“Any new application is dealt with by the Licensing department who will decide if those applying for the licence meet the criteria. It will only be referred to the licensing sub-committee if a decision by the committee is required.

“The legislation does not allow for the transfer of an operator’s licence.”

An Uber spokesman said: "We informed Sheffield Council on October 5 that we would need to change the name on our licence as the named individual would soon be leaving the company.

"The council told us they couldn't change the name on the licence, as most other councils have done, and that instead we would have to apply for a new one.

"We submitted an application for a new licence on October 16. While the council has therefore suspended the current licence on our application for a new licence continues to be processed.

"We hope our application for a new licence will be resolved before December 19 so that we can continue serving tens of thousands of riders and drivers in Sheffield."