All businesses need to strike a balance between pursuit of profit and protection of people. If we accept that our employees are our greatest asset then logically – and legally – we need to take good care of them.

Uber are getting that message from all directions, and it’s made September a challenging month for them. The transport company turned over $20 billion in 2016, but its dramatic growth has been threatened by Transport for London’s decision to revoke its London licence.

Most of us who’ve lived and worked in London over the past five years will know people who believe Uber has made their lives safer, offering a secure journey home when there were limited alternatives available. Thousands of Londoners have signed petitions in support of Uber this month for that exact reason. The other side of that argument is the accusation of sex discrimination by a female driver that’s hit the headlines this week. The driver claims that Uber is putting her and other women at risk, arguing that drivers don’t know a passenger’s destination until they are in the car, and if the journey is to a remote or unsafe area the driver has no option to cancel the journey. If passengers behave aggressively in the car, the driver can’t ask them to leave without risking a complaint and a low customer rating that could jeopardise their chances of future work.

To compound matters, Uber is appealing a legal ruling that its drivers should be considered workers rather than self-employed independent contractors. The appeal takes place today, and will go a long way to deciding whether drivers should be entitled to benefits such as sick pay and the minimum wage.

Critics argue that Uber’s policies offer insufficient protection to female drivers, and insufficient rights to all drivers. The company has countered with a survey that suggests most drivers enjoy working for them, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has now gone further, writing to Transport for London with an apology for past mistakes and recognising the need for change.

What kind of change might he be talking about?
The kind that balances equality of opportunity with employee well-being?
The kind that brings managers and teams together and encourages people to feel invested in the company?

That’s the kind of positive change Jane Systems has delivered for clients for the past two decades. HR management and legal compliance are challenging enough without having to navigate systems that stifle good practice. Jane delivers the opposite – an integrated system that gives you the platform to improve communication, increase productivity and build trust.

Uber have rekindled their chances of a renewed licence from Transport for London. How? By talking to them. Open, honest communication is the key to good human resource management and good client relationship management.

Jane clients see the benefits of good professional communication every day, and they know we’re here to help them meet whatever challenges lie ahead. If your business would benefit from a system that brings people together at every level, contact us today.

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