GMB taking legal action against “Amazon delivery firms” over “bogus self employment”
The GMB union has announced that it will be taking legal action against what it describes as “Amazon delivery companies” over the issue of alleged “bogus self-employment”.
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel today (4 June), GMB said that it is taking action on behalf of members working for Prospect Commercials Limited, Box Group Limited and Lloyd Link Logistics Limited.
According to GMB: “The claimants all worked for the companies as couriers, delivering parcels for Amazon.”
GMB said that the drivers should be regarded as employees, but “the companies used the bogus self- employment model to wrongly deny them employment rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay”.
The union added: “The drivers were required to attend scheduled shifts that were controlled by Amazon, meaning they did not have the flexibility that is integral to being self-employed. In this situation, the couriers were treated like employees in terms of their working hours, GMB Union contends they should be treated as employees in terms of their rights too.”
The union said that two of the drivers are also claiming that they were dismissed because of whistleblowing, “saying that their roles were terminated because they raised concerns about working practices”. Their concerns included claims that: “the number of parcels allocated to drivers resulted in excessive hours and/or driving unsafely to meet targets”; and “drivers were being underpaid and not being paid amounts that they were contractually entitled to”.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: “The day to day reality for many of our members who deliver packages for Amazon, is unrealistic targets, slogging their guts out only to have deductions made from their pay when those targets aren’t met and being told they’re self-employed without the freedom that affords.
“Companies like Amazon and their delivery comp
UPDATE: AMAZON STATEMENT
Following the GMB’s announcement yesterday, Amazon has issued a statement outlining its position.
An Amazon spokesperson told Post&Parcel: “Our delivery providers are contractually obligated to ensure drivers they engage receive the National Living Wage and are expected to pay a minimum of £12 per hour, follow all applicable laws and driving regulations and drive safely. Allegations to the contrary do not represent the great work done by around 100 small businesses generating thousands of work opportunities for delivery drivers across the UK.
“Amazon is proud to offer a wide variety of work opportunities across Britain—full-time or part-time employment, or be your own boss. Last year we created 5,000 new permanent jobs on top of thousands of opportunities for people to work independently with the choice and flexibility of being their own boss—either through Amazon Logistics, Amazon Flex, or Amazon Marketplace.”