Online retail organisation Amazon is investigating allegations that drivers working for an independent delivery business that provides some of Amazon’s delivery services are being paid less than the national minimum wage.
A report from media organisation The Telegraph has alleged that some drivers working for SEP Logistics to deliver Prime Now and Amazon Fresh packages on behalf of Amazon are earning under the statutory national minimum wage rate due to being subjected to fines if items are delivered outside of set specifications. This includes drivers being fined up to £100 for early deliveries, and a £25 fine being applied if deliveries are made two minutes outside of specified delivery windows.
The allegations also claim that are drivers are expected to cover their own vehicle rental, insurance and fuel costs on wages of £12 an hour. These vehicle expenses in addition to the delivery fines means that some drivers have therefore been earning less than the minimum wage of £7.50 an hour for employees aged 25 or over.
Amazon has launched an investigation as a result of the allegations. SEP Logistics has also confirmed that it will refund its drivers for historical fines.
Hiten Patel, managing director at SEP Logistics, said: “We recognise this was a flawed policy and have stopped delivery fines for drivers and will work to refund drivers the related historical fines. We are conducting an internal review of our business practices, including communications with drivers, to make sure they are treated considerately. Our owners started as drivers before setting up the business and take pride in treating those who deliver for us fairly.”
A spokesperson at Amazon added: “We require all delivery [organisations] working on our behalf to meet our supplier code of conduct requiring a respectful work environment and competitive pay. We investigate any allegation that a delivery provider is not meeting our requirements and will take appropriate action if we find that to be the case.”