Workplace Report January 2015

Equality news

Challenge over medicals for older workers

The GMB general union has written to Transport for London (TfL) asking that they conduct a review of the requirement that all private hire vehicle (phv) and taxi drivers aged over 65 should be subject to annual medicals on the grounds that this is contrary to age and disability discrimination legislation.

Steve Garelick, GMB branch secretary for professional drivers, said: “I have written to TfL on this after taking legal advice on behalf of a member over the doctors’ fees that a driver over 65 has to pay for continuing to hold a license on an annual basis unlike those who are under 65 who need less frequent medicals.”

He pointed out that doctors can charge what they like for private medicals with some charging as much as £150.

Advice from independent law firm UNIONLINE is that, while it is clear there is a legitimate need for such checks, it is probably unfair and discriminatory for those who have no choice but to pay fees on a more frequent basis.

“GMB cab drivers consider that all taxi and phv drivers over 65 should be refunded these medical bills by TfL for past medicals and also for future medicals if TfL insist on maintaining this discriminatory requirement,” Garelick said.