An employment tribunal has rejected Amazon’s bid to have drivers’ employee rights claims dismissed.
Amazon drivers are currently classified as ‘self-employed’, but have brought a claim to be classified as employees and be given the accompanying rights. Launched in 2021, more than 2,000 drivers have now joined the claim.
Amazon unsuccessfully tried to have the claim struck out, arguing drivers are in fact working for delivery service partners, rather than Amazon itself.
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Kate Robinson, solicitor at Leigh Day, the law firm representing the drivers, said Amazon’s close monitoring of the drivers, meant they are treated as employees.
Speaking to HR magazine, Robinson said: “We believe that, because of the standards drivers have to meet and the way they fit into Amazon’s business, drivers should instead be classed as employees and be entitled to the rights that this status affords.”
The rights the drivers are claiming for include holiday pay, minimum wage and sick pay.
They are also asking to be compensated for the difference in pay between what they earned delivering for Amazon and what they would have been paid had they received holiday pay and the National Minimum Wage.
Though the tribunal will decide on the relationship between Amazon and its drivers at a later date (as yet unset), Robinson said the latest move represented a major advance in the case.
She added: “Amazon has argued that the claims against them have ‘no reasonable prospect of success’ but this judgement shows that the employment tribunal does not agree.”
In response to the judgement, an Amazon spokesperson told HR magazine: “We’re hugely proud of the drivers who work with our partners across the country, getting our customers what they want, when they want, wherever they are.
“We are committed to ensuring these drivers are fairly compensated by the delivery companies they work with and are treated with respect, and this is reflected by the positive feedback we hear from drivers every day.”