Ocado delivery drivers paid “less than £5 an hour” according to damning report

Ocado’s rapid delivery drivers are being paid “less than £5 an hour” after the introduction of a new third-party delivery company saw their wages drop by over 50 per cent.

A new damning report from The Observer has detailed how drivers delivering groceries for Ocado’s one-hour ‘Zoom’ service are often forced to claim benefits because they do not “earn enough to survive on”.

While Ocado hires delivery drivers directly for its core online grocery service, it uses third-party companies to employ its Zoom delivery drivers.

Zoom drivers were previously guaranteed £14 per hour, but according to one driver have seen their wages drop by between 50 and 70 per cent after a new delivery partner, Ryde, was hired in June.

Ryde requires riders to pay for their own “cars, tax, fuel and insurance” dramatically eating into drivers’ hourly wages.

According to payslips seen by The Observer, one driver earned and estimated £2.91 per hour in the last week of July, and £5 an hour in the first week of August. The national living wage for London, where Zoom operates is £8.91 per hour.

“I’m making on average £50 on a 10-hour shift,” Zoom delivery driver Faizan Babar told the publication.

READ MORE: Ocado expands one-hour Zoom delivery service with new electric fleet trial

“And we pay for our own cars, tax, fuel and insurance out of that. It works out less than £5 an hour. Ocado is treating us like dirt.”

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), which represents the drivers, is set to send an open letter to Ocado this week and has said it will begin a public campaign against the grocer unless it enters into negotiations.

In response to the report, Ocado said: “For Zoom, Ocado’s immediacy service currently operating in West London, a small proportion of deliveries are made by third-party delivery partners. Drivers who accept and fulfil orders for these partners receive above the living wage on a pro rata basis.

“It would be unacceptable to Ocado for any drivers to be paid below the living wage. We are committed to working closely with suppliers to ensure our model delivers great outcomes for everyone involved, including everyone delivering orders to Zoom customers.”

Another driver said that they had tried to bring up the issue with Ocado, but were repeated told to “talk to your employer, you are nothing to do with us”.

A Ryde spokesperson added: “As a “rider-first” last-mile delivery business, we put the welfare of our self-employed contractors at the heart of everything that we do.

“We aim to pay 20 per cent above the market average, well ahead of both minimum wage and the London living wage and over 90 per cent of Ryde drivers earn above the London living wage. Driver pay does vary depending on the acceptance and fulfillment of jobs and the average driver pay for Ryde users is currently £12 p/h.

“We are concerned by recent media reports and are investigating the specific instances, although from an initial assessment of driver data we strongly refute that drivers are being paid below minimum wage for their work with Ryde.”

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