MPs from two separate committees have penned a letter to Amazon’s UK managing director Doug Gurr following revelations last month that delivery drivers were being paid below minimum wage.
Works and Pensions Committee chairman Frank Field together with Rachel Reeves of the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee have pressed Gurr on what measures Amazon has taken to ensure drivers are paid fairly and are working safely.
In November, The Telegraph revealed the online retail giant was outsourcing deliveries to a company called SEP Logistics, which was found to be fining drivers and making them responsible for paying their own vehicle rental, insurance and fuel costs.
This meant they were effectively paid under the National Living Wage once expenses were deducted.
The retailer was forced to demand that SEP change its policies, seeing some drivers repaid up to £1000.
The letter also references reports that some drivers were working for 12 to 14 hours without a break, well above the legal requirement for a break.
”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,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
“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.”