Up to 3,000 Amazon drivers could be entitled to an extra £10,500 each year for the distribution of goods and deliveries that they undertake, according to law firm Leigh Day – the same company that brought about the now infamous Uber case.
The law firm has launched an employee rights claim on behalf of drivers and believes that Amazon could owe drivers a total £140m in compensation. Leigh Day believes that, because of the way Amazon dictates drivers work and how they fit into Amazon’s business, drivers are entitled to workers rights including holiday pay, minimum wage and an employment contract. As they are currently engaged on a self-employed basis, drivers are not entitled to any minimum rights.
Drivers described how Amazon control everything, and that drivers are given estimated travel times between deliveries via an app which they have to meet. 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. One such driver told Leigh Day:
“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.”
If successful, this case would cost Amazon millions, so we expect this to be the beginnings of a long battle.