National minimum wage: Amazon to overhaul treatment of drivers
14 November 2017
Amazon is ensuring that one of its main grocery delivery partners radically changes how it treats its workers after The Telegraph uncovered a punitive regime that left many drivers earning less than the minimum wage.
The investigation exposed a catalogue of penalties that SEP Logistics, which delivers Amazon’s Fresh and Prime Now goods across London, imposes on employees, including a £100 fine for ‘early’ deliveries. Drivers also face a series of charges including £25 if they make a delivery two minutes outside a window and a £25 ‘no-show’ fine.
Workers are meant to receive £12-an-hour from SEP Logistics but must also cover their van rental of between £190 and £250 a week, weekly petrol costs of £30 and insurance for £330 a month. As a result of the excessive penalties SEP Logistics hands out, drivers were often earning less than the minimum wage.
Is there a connection to the recently reported news that Amazon ‘Prime Now’ customers have vented their fury following the introduction of a £3.99 fee on same day deliveries? The new fee means shoppers using the ultra-fast Prime Now service are expected to pay £3.99 plus an optional £2 driver’s tip on all same day delivery orders under £40 (previously £20).
Tips do not count for National Minimum Wage purposes but there are still the tax and NICs implications to be considered.