Whether you’re just starting up or have been around for a while the process of running your own taxi firm is worlds away from what it was just 10 years ago.


Figures from the Department of Transport for 2019 show that in England alone there are 291,800 licensed taxis and private hire vehicles. While last year the total revenue in the UK taxi industry was a staggering £9bn.


Whether you’re arranging taxi insurance, sorting out licensing requirements or doing vehicle maintenance, your taxi firm can provide you with big rewards but also real challenges.


It isn’t just the digital revolution of Uber and other disruptive ride-hailing and on-demand taxi apps that have had a huge impact on the industry. Diversity has been a hot topic for most businesses and organisations in recent years, and rightly so.


Many studies have shown that in addition to promoting equality, the benefits of a diverse workforce can be measured in things like better retention of staff, stronger work performance, greater staff engagement and even better financial returns.


In such a large industry central to many people’s lives, taxi firms have an important role to play. In particular, taxi driving is the most ethnically diverse job in Britain.


Around 53% of drivers are from a minority ethnic background according to a report by the Policy Exchange Forum. With taxi firm’s having such a strength in diversity how can you promote that diversity at your taxi firm?



Get staff buy-in


It’s sometimes difficult to know where to start when it comes to beginning a diversity initiative in a small business. You simply won’t have the resources, consultants, budgets and branding that bigger businesses have.


So why not start with simply making a commitment to diversity and making sure that everyone in the firm understands why it’s important. We all understand why taxi insurance is essential so why not diversity?


It’s not just because it’s the right thing to do. It’ll also give you an advantage in this very competitive market. However, without the understanding and belief of your staff even the best of intentions will fall flat.


A good way to demonstrate your firm’s commitment would be to sign up to the CIPD’s Business in the Community Race at Work Charter, and the British Standards Institution’s BS 6005 British Standard for Diversity.


A man diving a taxi in te daytime



Protect your staff


Under the Equality Act 2010 firms need to maintain a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination at work.


Your position needs to be clearly communicated to your staff, partners, suppliers and customers so everyone knows where you and they stand.


New policies and procedures should be developed and tested with input from people with a diverse range of backgrounds.


Consult not only your staff but also other external experts who can provide different perspectives. Speak to your local authority and other local businesses, they’ll have a range of invaluable expertise.


When talking about contentious issues the Equality and Human Rights Commission advises that:


  • Any discussion should be conducted sensitively and with respect for the views and positions of others.
  • We all have the right to freedom of expression, but this does not extend to the protection of speech that discriminates against, harasses or incites violence or hatred against others.


To prevent confusion over what constitutes discrimination, provide your staff with practical examples of overt discrimination and everyday discrimination.


It’s also important to be clear about what constitutes harassment on the grounds of certain protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


As with discrimination, harassment can take many forms including, for example, abusive language, name-calling, jokes, banter, mimicry, gestures, assault, offensive emails and displays of pictures or posters.


All staff should be trained on dealing with any abuse they witness or receive, whether inside work or from others if it’s directed at another driver.


There should be simple and straightforward methods for reporting any abuse or harassment and any reports must be acted on. This has to include a policy for dealing with any customers who are abusive or threatening.


The TUC has also produced guidance on combating racism that’s equally applicable to other protected characteristics. As part of that there’s this handy checklist for employers:


  • Have and promote zero tolerance policy.
  • Ensure you have a policy for dealing with bullying and harassment at work.
  • Train all staff.
  • Have systems in place to support affected staff.
  • Review reporting mechanisms.
  • Work jointly with unions.



Helpful tips


Here are some helpful tips that are worth remembering if you want your plans to promote diversity to succeed:


  • Take it at a pace to suit all – implementing too much too fast can make it overwhelming for staff. You want to build an inclusive environment. To do that all staff need to feel that they have a voice and are treated with fairness, decency and respect.
  • Celebrate diversity – encourage staff to celebrate their diversity.
  • Recruitment – you won’t promote diversity at your firm if you don’t take it into account when recruiting drivers. If you want to reach more diverse candidates then consider posting jobs on job boards aimed at diversity – perhaps one aimed at job seekers with disabilities or one for former members of the armed services.
  • Be patient – change doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re dedicated to promoting diversity at your taxi firm and beyond then it’ll take time.

 Four hands of different ethnic background in a square holding the wrist to it's right above a work desk



Protect your business with taxi insurance


Promoting diversity at your taxi firm is only one way to succeed in the modern competitive business world. The specialist team at Taxi Insurer understands all these issues and is here to help.


We’ve spent decades working with our trusted panel of insurers to provide you with the ideal insured only policies or named driver policies. We can provide you with a broad array of choices depending on whether you’re looking for individual cover or insurance for an entire taxi fleet.


Arranging taxi insurance couldn’t be easier. Call our team today on 01926 454929 and get a no obligation quote, or complete the ‘request a call back’ form and we'll call you at a time that's convenient for you.


Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.