A BBC report has raised concerns about working conditions at Amazon. After hearing complaints about conditions at the firms delivery wing Amazon Locations, an undercover reporter got a job with AHC services. Over the course of two weeks he reportedly worked long hours earning less than minimum wage; some drivers admitted to driving dangerously due to pressure to finish their rounds.
Emma O’Leary is a consultant for ELAS specialising in employment law. She says: “If the allegations which are emerging about Amazon’s delivery drivers are true, then its fair to say Amazon will find themselves in a spot of bother.”
“Aside from the obvious health and safety and ethical issues, they could also be in breach of a number of employment laws. It is imperative to ensure that employees receive at least the National Minimum/Living Wage for every hour they work and hours should be averaged out to ensure that this is the case. The penalties for failing to pay NMW are not just fines, companies who fail to do so will also be ‘named and shamed’ on the government’s annual list of ‘offenders’. Secondly, the Working Time Regulations provide for strict rest breaks. Under the regulations everyone should get at least a 20 minute clear break from working if their shift is longer than 6 hours. There should also be an 11 hour break between shifts. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule but people who drive for a living are certainly not one of them.”