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For many businesses today, the outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a mass breakdown in the working world. Just about every economy on the planet is shrinking, and the opportunities for work that you can actually attend are drying up. Very few companies are employing outside of those in essential industries, too. Basically, the entire working world has come to a staggering halt. But what about Uber drivers? How is the COVID-19 crisis impacting on them?
Let’s take a look to see what the impact is on those who are taking us from Point A to Point B.
Drivers are taking risks
The first thing you will likely notice is the number of Uber drivers who are still available to come and pick you up. This comes from the fact that many Uber drivers have Uber as their sole source of income. As such, they need to take the risk to keep earning.
Most have little to no protection in terms of employment furloughing or any kind of help the company itself, so most are taking the risk in a bid to bring in some money for the family coffers.
No sick leave
One thing about Uber is that, despite analysis showing the company has $10bn in cash on hand, the drivers are not given any kind of sick leave. It’s like being your own boss in a way; while you work your own hours, you have no protection should anything go wrong with you.
This means that many drivers are having to take risks financially in a bid to just survive. Sick leave has become a major talking point in many companies, but for Uber drivers it’s something they simply cannot do anything about. If they want to earn, they need to be out there.
The competition is high
A major problem for many drivers is that while Uber drivers are out on force, customers are not. With no social activities available and no real normal jobs, the only people that you can pick up are a small list of key workers. This means that many Uber drivers are taking people like doctors and nurses to and from their workplace.
The income drop that many are feeling stems from the fact that, put simply, there are not enough people out there needing a ride compared to what most are used to finding.
Lastly, those who can earn are finding their earnings are nowhere near as consistent. One story that was produced on CNBC showed that one Uber driver who made $600/week now makes nothing. This is becoming common, with many Uber riders who were used to making a consistent living are now part of the ‘boom and bust’ economy that is so prevalent in other industries.
For most Uber riders, then, COVID-19 has only had a negative impact. And while some riders are taking time out of their day to help out key workers for free, others simply need to get out there to make enough money to eat. It’s a perilous situation, and one that unfortunately has no real solution.