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Parcelforce drivers launch an attack against the Royal Mail

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Parcelforce delivery drivers launch an attack against their employer, Royal Mail, claiming that they have been incorrectly classed as self-employed.

The law firm that is representing the drivers, and their union the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), believe that they could be entitled to compensation.

Multiple drivers claim they have been mislabelled as self-employed ‘owner drivers’ when they should have been classified as ‘workers’ because of the way they carry out their work. If someone is self-employed, they will have control over the hours they work as well as the days they work. However, the delivery drivers in question were not allowed to do this. The Parcelforce workers were not allowed to decide the hours they worked, the days they worked or the routes they took. This means that they were more in line with that of a worker, who would be subjected to the same conditions. If correct, this would reward them with basic workers’ employment rights, such as the national living wage, sick pay, or holiday pay.

It’s believed that 25% of Parcelforce’s drivers are classified as self-employed, which means all these drivers could be affected by the misclassification

Three drivers brought this issue to the attention of the IWGB, who then approached a law firm to act for thousands of workers against Royal Mail in a tribunal claim. Drivers are eligible to join the claim if they have driven for Parcelforce within the last 10 weeks and it is estimated they could be entitled to £12,000 in compensation each, if the claims are successful.

The IWGB stated that this is another example of where workers have had their basic rights obliterated by the gig economy. Many Parcelforce workers have described the job as a ‘living hell’ with some getting paid as little as £58 for a day’s work after paying for fuel and the van lease.

A spokesperson for Parcelforce has said that all their ‘owner drivers’ are self-employed, and they rebut any indication that they are not.

Tom Charteress


Tom Charteress

Trainee Solicitor

Tom is a Trainee Solicitor in the Commercial Litigation team in our Kettering office.