During the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon capitalized on a huge surge in demand for online shopping. In fact, the e-commerce giant reported sales rising 84% in 2020 to $386 billion.
However, Amazon delivery drivers have now started group legal action against their employer for employee rights like holiday pay and the minimum wage.
Leigh Day – the legal firm representing the delivery drivers – is claiming that Amazon drivers hired by third-party delivery companies should be entitled to the same rights as employees.
This follows another high-profile case from the law firm Leigh Day, in which thousands of supermarket staff at Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s are fighting for equal pay.
The law firm also won a similar landmark case on behalf of Uber drivers earlier in the year. It’s believed that thousands of drivers are now entitled to compensation after being treated as self-employed, despite the fact they should have been employees.
In this case, many of the drivers at Amazon are currently classed as self-employed too, which means they don’t receive any employee rights or benefits.
Amazon claims that it’s committed to making sure drivers receive fair pay from the third-party companies they work with – these are also known as “Delivery Service Partners”.
But, Leigh Day argues that drivers are currently not given basic rights, like the National Minimum Wage or an employment contract, which puts them in an unstable position.
The firm says that Amazon tells drivers how they should work by giving them estimated timings between deliveries on an App, and these requirements must be met.
Because of this, Leigh Day said they should be given the same rights as employees and, after starting legal action on behalf of two drivers, the legal team has now called on others to join a group action.
Amazon says that the app only provides guidance and that it’s up to drivers to decide if they want to follow the route that’s suggested by the app or not.