It might surprise you to know that some of the couriers hired for takeaway deliveries are only paid as low as £1.74 per hour which is far from the minimum of the national wage standard.
A courier who is from Leeds is currently self-employed under Jinn which is an app that makes it possible for users to order meals as well as groceries and then have it delivered to them in the comfort of their homes. They can order from various outlets including Sainsbury, McDonalds and KFC. The courier was able to provide proof about the fact that he worker for 72 hours but only go paid with £125.
One other courier revealed earning only £264 after working for 94 hours which would mean that every hour of work is only equivalent to £2.80. A third courier admitted that his effective rate is only set at £3.05 every hour. Their total take home pay is lower than the said amount because of the fact that couriers are the one covering the expenses incurred from using their motorbikes which cost around £30 for one week. As of the moment, the national living wage set for people who are 25 years old and above is £7.20 per hour.
Majority of the workers in the United Kingdom are now under the self-employed category after the boom of the gig economy which means that couriers are also classified under it. This entails that the mandatory minimum wage is not a requirement for the companies where they are working. Complaints came after Jinn’s decision to abolish its £8 per hour rate starting the month of January. The workers will not be paid for each piece of work they do rather than on an hourly basis.
When Leon Herrera, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Jinn, was asked about the complaints of the workers regarding low pay, he said that the couriers have the freedom to accept or refuse the work because they do not have an exclusive contract under the company. Unlike most courier services in Melbourne wherein the employees and couriers are hired for regular job positions, the services provided by Jinn depends mainly on supply and demand and is a free platform.