Amazon is facing an employment claim from lawyers that could see the online giant pay up to £140m in compensation to casual delivery drivers, opening up a new front in the fight over the gig economy.
Leigh Day claims that at least 3,000 drivers may be entitled to an average of £10,500 compensation for each year given to the company.
The law firm announced that it is launching a group claim on behalf of drivers making deliveries through Amazon’s “Delivery Service Partners” program who are classified as self-employed, meaning that They do not have an employment contract and are not entitled to vacation pay and minimum wage.
But Leigh Day argues that drivers are entitled to these rights because of the way Amazon directs drivers’ work and how they fit into Amazon’s business.
“From what we’ve heard from our customers, it appears that Amazon is short-changing drivers who are making deliveries on their behalf,” said Kate Robinson, an employment attorney at Leigh Day.
“This is shameful behavior from a company that makes billions of pounds a year. Drivers who deliver for Amazon have to work set shifts and book time off, yet Amazon claims they are self-employed. Huh.
The firm, which previously won a landmark employment rights case on behalf of Uber drivers, is currently representing two drivers and is seeking others to join the legal action. At least 31 drivers contacted the firm on Wednesday, a spokesperson said. Granthshala.
Drivers told Lehigh Day that they are given an estimated time between deliveries via an app that they have to complete, and are not able to get the parcel back to the depot, so re-delivered at the end of the day To do this, additional fuel must be used.
The law firm said that when combined with charges for van rental, fuel and insurance, it could leave them with meager income.
Amazon disputes several of the firm’s claims, arguing that drivers who are paid at least £120 per day and receive compensation for their fuel costs are not contacted directly by Amazon, and It has an option to follow the route suggested on the app or not. , which provides the estimated time to travel.
“We are extremely proud of the drivers who work with our partners across the country to give our customers what they want, when they want, wherever they are,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
“We are committed to ensuring that these drivers are properly compensated by the delivery companies they work with and are treated with respect, and this is reflected in the positive feedback we receive from drivers every day. Hear from.”
In addition to Amazon, Leah Day is bringing similar claims against Uber, Edison Lee, delivery company Stuart and used vehicle marketplace BCA. It follows a Supreme Court ruling in February that after a six-year legal battle, Uber drivers should be treated as workers, not self-employed contractors.
Ms Robinson said: “Pending compensation of £140m sounds like a huge bill, but for a company that made £5.8bn profit in the first three months of 2021, it is a drop in the ocean.
“For drivers, on the other hand, earning at least the national minimum wage, receiving vacation pay and being under a fair employment contract can be life-changing.”
PA. Additional reporting by
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