Amazon delivery drivers launch legal battle for employee rights

Amazon delivery drivers launch legal battle for employee rights including being paid the minimum wage and holiday pay

Thousands of Amazon delivery drivers have launched a legal battle for employee rights including being paid the minimum wage and holiday pay. 

British law firm Leigh Day believes that at least 3,000 drivers could be entitled to an average of £10,500 compensation each for every year they have delivered goods for the American online giant.

The drivers are classed as being self-employed, meaning they are not entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay.

Leigh Day, which is bringing similar claims against Uber, Addison Lee, delivery company Stuart and used vehicle marketplace BCA, claims that drivers hired via third party delivery companies to make deliveries for Amazon should be given rights enjoyed by employees.

Drivers who spoke to the law firm claimed they are given estimated travel times between deliveries via an app which they have to meet.

They also described how they are not able to bring parcels back to the depot so must use extra fuel to redeliver at the end of the day. This, combined with charges for van rental, fuel, and insurance can leave them with very little earnings, according to the British law firm.

An Amazon spokesman told the BBC it was committed to ensuring drivers were fairly paid by the delivery companies they work with. MailOnline has contacted the US company for further comment.

Thousands of Amazon delivery drivers have launched a legal battle for employee rights including being paid the minimum wage and holiday pay. 

British law firm Leigh Day believes that at least 3,000 drivers could be entitled to an average of £10,500 compensation each for every year they have delivered goods for the American online giant

British law firm Leigh Day believes that at least 3,000 drivers could be entitled to an average of £10,500 compensation each for every year they have delivered goods for the American online giant 

Currently drivers making deliveries on behalf of Amazon via ‘Delivery Service Partners’ are classified as self-employed, so they don’t benefit from employees’ rights such as holiday pay, at least National Minimum Wage and an employment contract. 

Delivery driver Bill Lightfoot, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, said: ‘The work is horrendous because Amazon control everything you do. 

‘There were times I was out on delivery, and I’d stop for a few minutes, and they’d ring up and ask why I was parked up.

‘The money I was earning wasn’t anywhere close to covering my rent and bills. In one week, I worked 36 hours over four days and I should have earned £464 but they gave me £2.74.  It doesn’t sound believable but it’s true.

‘I was very unhappy delivering for them. Effectively I was paying them to do their deliveries, rather than the other way around.’ 

Leigh Day claims that drivers hired via third party delivery companies to make deliveries for Amazon should be given rights enjoyed by employees

Leigh Day claims that drivers hired via third party delivery companies to make deliveries for Amazon should be given rights enjoyed by employees 

Kate Robinson, a solicitor in the employment team at Leigh Day, said: ‘It’s time for Amazon to stop putting profit above people and give delivery drivers the employment rights they deserve.’

She added: ‘Amazon is short-changing drivers making deliveries on their behalf. This is disgraceful behaviour from a company that makes billions of pounds a year. 

‘Drivers delivering for Amazon have to work set shifts and book time off, yet Amazon claim they are self-employed.

‘Paying out compensation of £140million sounds like a large bill to foot, but for a company that turned a profit of £5.8billion in the first three months of 2021, it’s a drop in the ocean. 

‘For drivers on the other hand, earning at least National Minimum Wage, getting holiday pay and being under a proper employment contract could be life changing.’

Leigh Day brought and won a landmark case on behalf of Uber drivers for workers’ rights in February this year.      

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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