MPs on two parliamentary select committees have written to Amazon UK managing director Douglas Gurr regarding reports that couriers are being underpaid.
The work and pensions and business select committees have asked Amazon to confirm whether they are investigating concerns over couriers’ driving hours, as well as reports that couriers are receiving below the national living wage once routine expenses are deducted.
The letter referenced reports of couriers delivering for Amazon ”having to drive more than the 11 hours a day, with some workers working for 12 to 14 hours without a break, to meet the delivery loads and routes assigned to them by Amazon”.
Frank Field, chairman of the work and pensions committee, and Rachel Reeves, chairman of the business, energy and industrial strategy committee, asked Gurr “what actions you are taking to ensure that those couriers contracted to deliver on behalf of your company are working safely and receiving fair pay”.
They requested information on how Amazon is monitoring courier routes and loads via its “sophisticated software”, and what details are held on the proportion of drivers working more than 11 hours per day or not taking mandated rest breaks.
Amazon confirmed it is “looking into concerns raised”, adding that its delivery providers are expected to ensure drivers receive a minimum £12 per hour before deductions and excluding bonuses, incentives and fuel reimbursements.
A spokesman for the business said: ”We are committed to ensuring that the people contracted by our independent delivery providers are fairly compensated, treated with respect, follow all applicable laws and driving regulations and drive safely.
”Sophisticated software is used to plan delivery routes and take into account several variables, including speed limits and daily traffic patterns. As independent contractors of our delivery providers, drivers deliver at their own pace, take breaks at their discretion, and are able to choose the suggested route or develop their own.
”We are constantly looking to make the service better for delivery service providers, their delivery partners and customers, understanding that our progress depends on good execution and judgment of our employees and our delivery providers.”
Both committees previously penned a letter to Mike Ashley in September questioning claims that Sports Direct was underpaying its couriers by manipulating delivery rates. Hermes, the retailer’s carrier, denied the allegations.