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UK: Union representing gig workers criticise 'paltry' offers of sick pay for delivery couriers affected by COVID-19

Author: Robert Booth, The Guardian, Published on: 16 March 2020

"Coronavirus: unions attack 'paltry' sick pay for self-isolating couriers", 16 March 2020

Unions representing gig workers have attacked “paltry” offers of sick pay for delivery couriers affected by coronavirus...

DPD... is offering [its 5,000] self-employed couriers who need to self-isolate the equivalent of statutory sick pay (£94.25 a week). It is well short of the approximately £550 its drivers with worker status are supposed to earn weekly. DPD has also said costs of renting equipment and vans will not be waived but deferred.

Hermes, which has around 15,000 self-employed parcel couriers, will only pay £20 a day to drivers if they need to self-isolate and only if they typically earn less than £90 a day.... [H]alf its workers will receive nothing and those who do will see payments capped at £280 because they are effectively limited to 14 days.

Deliveroo... says it will offer its 35,000 riders in excess of statutory sick pay (SSP), for up to two weeks of self-isolation if they have... contracted the virus, been placed in quarantine by a medical authority or chosen to self-isolate following medical advice. But it did not specify how much higher the payments would be...

GMB trade union said it was irresponsible that companies which use the gig economy model “put courier safety and public health at risk by creating disincentives to self-isolation”.

There are more than 1 million gig workers in Britain who typically have no rights to SSP and are only paid per job... Couriers are expected to be in high demand during the coming weeks as more people self-isolate and rely on deliveries...

The ride-hailing app Uber has taken a different approach. It said it will pay drivers based on their average earnings for 14 days if they need to go off sick...

Read the full post here

Related companies: Deliveroo DPDgroup Hermes Uber