Uber for Business revamps ride-sharing benefit for employers

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Uber for Business, the parent of the ubiquitous ride-sharing business, has revamped its employer platform that offers ride-sharing benefits to employees and potential job candidates.

The online platform -- which includes safe rides, transportation for potential job applicants, a daily commuter benefit, late-night rides and a monthly allowance, among other functionalities -- will give employers one place to manage those benefits.

Any employer can set up the ride-sharing benefit with group functionality that has different rules and restrictions for various groups of employees.

“The core element of this is that people want flexibility,” says Max Crowley, strategic initiatives leader for Uber for Business. “How they get to work today may be different than how they get to work tomorrow. Uber can connect a lot of these different elements.”

Especially for female and transgender employees – the latter experiences the most harassment of any protected class, says Crowley – a private car service that gets them home safely late at night is a major benefit. For industries in major cities such as banking, safe-ride service is a standard perk. However, employers pay a 10% fee for every Uber ride, which gives them access to the platform and a support center.

To make sure that 65,000 global employees are using the benefit properly, employers can use Uber for Business’ platform to add a geofence or virtual perimeter around the office that limits where employees go, and set an allowance for rides beyond the designated commuter benefit.

The benefit, which is part of Uber’s expanding total rewards program, also makes them feel valued, he says.

"Employees spend 10% of their time commuting and 17% quit due their commute,” says Crowley. “When you take an employee who’s been driving alone” and give them a car service, they’re less frustrated, he adds. It also can bridge the distance between someone’s home and the nearest public transportation station.

Similarly, the employers using the platform can schedule the car service in advance to bring employees to and from company events, along with creating a time restriction.

Employers can also arrange for Uber to pick up candidates and deliver them to the office for a job interview. “It’s an elevated way to make it simple for the interview process,” he says. “And it’s pretty inexpensive, when you think about the cost of hiring.”

Administrators have access to the trip specifics, along with the billing information. Rather than fill out an expense report, Crowley says the charges are taken care of within the platform. The company has also partnered with Concur to help import employee rosters easier, he says.

“We’re really dipping our toes in the water,” he says.

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