Uber to take legal action over new English test August 24, 2016 – Posted in: Private Hire News – Tags: , ,

The popular technology company Uber who provides an app based minicab service in London says that thousands of private hire drivers in London will lose their jobs.

Starting from October 1st 2016, Transport for London will introduce a new rule for their private hire license application process. Drivers looking to get licensed who are not from a majority English speaking country will have to prove they can communicate in English by providing a B1 English Language Certificate at a CEFR standard.

This means there will be many London private hire drivers who will have to take on B1 English language courses and the B1 English language test. The cost of getting a private hire licence in London would therefore significantly increase for both new applicants and existing renewal applicants for the PCO licence.

The B1 English Language test is a complete test, which includes the need to display reading & writing as well as speaking & listening. This is done through written examination as well as face-to-face oral examinations. The test is taken at an accredited test centre and is the same test which is required as a part of becoming a UK Citizen.

Uber currently has over 30,000 drivers on their platform and they are saying they will take legal action against TfL as a last resort. During TfL consultation stage Uber was one of the companies who agreed that the private hire licensing required some level of English language requirement, but they are now saying the B1 English Language standards are going to be much more difficult for people to pass.

Transport for London has said it will defend their decision regarding the new English language requirement.

Drivers we have spoken to are extremely worried about the new English language requirement, especially as many feel that enough information regarding the requirement haven’t been given.

More information regarding the B1 English language requirement for private hire drivers in London will be available on our website soon.