The new contract will offer all of DPD’s delivery drivers the choice of being directly employed by DPD or to work with the organisation on a self-employed franchise basis. Drivers on the new contract will receive some employment rights, such as paid annual leave, a pension entitlement and sick pay, however they will still maintain some traits of being a self-employed contractor, for example having greater flexibility and choice over how they work and the possibility to have a higher earning potential.
Currently, individuals who are classified as employees are entitled to employment rights like paid annual leave and sick pay, but self-employed contractors are not.
DPD will offer all existing employees and self-employed contractors who work as delivery drivers the opportunity to take up the new worker contract. This will then become an annual opportunity for all drivers to apply to change their employment status between being employed, a worker or a self-employed franchisee.
Drivers will only be able to change their employment status after receiving employer-paid advice to ensure that individuals make an informed decision regarding their employment status and are aware of the benefits that each category receives.
DPD will additionally remove its current breach system for self-employed drivers. This includes a £150 charge for failing to provide services. The breach system is to be replaced with a new, more transparent points-based service failure system.
The introduction of the new contract is a result of DPD’s strategic operational review, which included a consultation with UK drivers and gaining independent, external advice. The contract will form part of a wider DPD driver code, which is to be rolled out later in 2018.
Dwain McDonald, chief executive officer at DPD, said: “We recognise that we need to improve the way we work with our drivers. While the self-employed franchise scheme has benefitted thousands of drivers over the past 20 years, it hasn’t moved with the times and needs updating.
“Our plan is to completely transform our overall driver offer, as well as the day-to-day working relationship we have with our drivers. I’ve been visiting our depots and talking to our drivers and the package of measures we are developing will be a direct result of those conversations.
“At the moment, we have drivers who are self-employed and those that are employed directly by DPD. While the vast majority of our self-employed drivers tell us they want to remain self-employed, we want to provide them with a choice of options, including the new worker status.
“We are looking at all aspects of how we work with our drivers at the moment, and I’m consulting closely with both our drivers and our external advisers Lord Watts and Iain Wright to make sure these changes are fair for all our drivers, and we will announce more details later in the spring.”