After initially committing to releasing information on ride-hailing safety three years ago, vehicle hire app Lyft has released its first safety report, highlighting dangerous issues in employee behaviour. This comes nearly two years after competitor Uber’s study of sexual misconduct on the app.
According to new data released by the company, more than 4,000 sexual assaults were reported between 2017 and 2019. The company collected 598 of these reports for 2017, 661 for 2018 and 1,041 for 2019. Lyft’s data was divided into five categories of broad definitions in order to be transparent about the information collected.
The company noted that staff members who are accused of these incidents are mostly permanently removed from the Lyft community, preventing future altercations.
Despite being necessary in the modern world, gig economy roles highlight a number of safety concerns for service users. As these short-term positions usually need to be filled at last minute, rapid turnaround times can be required for compliance matters such as employee screening and background checks.
We’re always working to make Lyft as safe as possible. That’s why we have a rigorous background check process for drivers, and why we regularly consult with our Safety Advisory Council of external experts on safety policies and features. – Lyft.
According to the company, background checks are already a part of their onboarding process. From this, however, we can learn that basic background checks may not be suitable for gig economy workers. With this in mind, how can processes be improved for vulnerable individuals using the service?
Enhanced screening can be utilised in order to identify damaging or dangerous behaviours to hiring teams. These enhanced measures can be vital in protecting companies, staff and service users.
Traditional services such as employment history and references or gap analysis and resolution can be helpful when screening new starters. They can be useful in evaluating and validating their professional experiences. Enhanced screening methods however encompass analysis of an individual’s educational, professional and personal background, to paint a fuller picture of who you are hiring.
Screening companies providing enhanced background checks will look to previous employers, social media, the electoral roll, regulatory bodies, and educational institutions to complete this service.
From ride-share services to food delivery drivers, to online shopping delivery, the gig economy is growing constantly. Employers must make conscious and ethical decisions around their onboarding processes in order to keep these services safe for all.