What we have seen recently regarding a young man from Birmingham who was refused by Uber taxi drivers because he had a guide dog is in part due to the governments inability to tackle the growing gig economy,
The fast paced gig economy is using more and more people as self-employed and abusing the working conditions of those who are truly self-employed. What we have seen in the case of this young man is an inability of Uber to manage, train and inform their "employees" of the DDA and how it is implemented for people with assistance dogs. There can be no justification on the grounds of religious belief (no matter which belief system you follow) to refuse someone a service. In fact I and I am sure others fail to understand the reason a religion or belief system would refuse a person with a disability the right to travel home safely.
It is implicit when applying for a licence to carriage that under section 37 of the Disability Discrimination Act from 2001 that it is an offence punishable with a fine of upto £1,000 if a driver refuses to provide a service to someone with an assistance dog unless they have an exemption on medical grounds and can prove this to be the case.
It is indeed sad in today's society that we keep hearing about these situations and that they keep happening. Uber is of course a high profile company and I wonder how many people have been refused such services across the country and how the government is going to ensure that this legislation is enforced. Perhaps one way is to name and shame those involved as well as training for those new to this industry. The ultimate sanction should be the revoking of the licence of the individual and if a company has more than 20 complaints upheld against it, that a six month suspended sentence is imposed on the company as a whole and that if further complaints are received it will be shut down.
Unless or until an appropriate sanction is in place for taxi or private hire companies that is enforced and the sanction is such the company is in risk of being closed down. We will continue to see such discrimatory behaviour this young man should not have put up with.