The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and Human Rights Act 1993 (NZ) require that service providers do not deny transport service to riders with assistance animals because of the assistance animals and do not otherwise discriminate against riders with assistance animals. State and Territory legislation, such as the Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW), Commercial Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017 (Vic) and Domestic Animals Act 2000 (ACT), also expressly provide that service providers must accept riders with assistance animals. As explained in Turvy’s Non-Discrimination Policy, driver-partners who engage in discriminatory conduct will lose their access to the Driver App.
Assistance animals help a wide range of people with disabilities and are not limited to assisting those who are visually impaired. Assistance animals can help people with physical disabilities, autism, post-traumatic stress, diabetes, anxiety, dementia, hearing loss and other disabilities. You might not always be able to see the disability the person has.
You may not recognise an assistance animal just by looking at it. Assistance animals come in all shapes and sizes, and they are not required to have any identifying collars or vests.
If you are unsure whether a rider’s animal is an assistance animal, ask them politely. If they answer yes, you can ask the rider for evidence that the animal is trained as an assistance animal or trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.
If Turvy receives a plausible complaint that a driver-partner refused to transport a rider with an assistance animal because of the assistance animal, following a review of the complaint(s), the driver-partner can be permanently prevented from using the Driver App. Turvy shall make this determination at its sole discretion following a review of the incident.
Driver-partners may also be subject to fines under applicable legislation if they refuse to accept a rider with an assistance animal. The maximum fine useful will depend upon the State, Territory or country the driver-partner is located. For example, as of the date of this Policy, a driver-partner may be subject to a fine of up to $8,000, $1,650 and $3,000 for failing to accept a rider with an assistance animal in the ACT NSW and New Zealand, respectively.
If a rider has an issue related to their assistance animal—including issues regarding ride cancellations, harassment, improper cleaning fees or additional unlawful fees—the rider can report the problem to Turvy.
Once a rider submits an assistance animal complaint, Turvy’s specialised support team will review the complaint and deal with it appropriately.
To file a complaint from the Turvy Rider App, navigate to the “I Want to Report a Service Animal Issue” complaint screen, available through the trip details screen and the account menu.
To file a complaint from the Turvy website, select the “I Want to Report A Service Animal Issue” link or the “Help” link on the Turvy website.
A rider will be refunded any trip cancellation charges or other charges on the Turvy App imposed because a driver-partner denied a rider service because of an assistance animal. Riders will be refunded any improper cleaning fees or additional unlawful fees charged for shedding by their assistance animals.