UK Mail has been accused of “ripping off” workers and using “inhuman” practices after it charged a courier nearly £800 when he was unable to work as a result of a car accident while on duty.
The £250m business, delivers for retailers including Tesco, Homebase and O2. UK Mail’s has a network of about 1,800 self-employed couriers. UK Mail made a profit of £16m profit last year when it was bought out by the Deutsche Post DHL Group.
The system of charges is written into the contracts of couriers who are paid per delivery. UK Mail also charged Ibrahimov when a doctor signed him off work for two weeks with acute back pain and sciatica caused by carrying heavy parcels. He went back to work after two days to avoid losses.
“I took my sick note in and they said it doesn’t matter because I am self-employed,” he said. “They did this to me and they will do it to someone else tomorrow and it is not right.”
Ibrahimov said he typically worked five 12-hour days each week which, after expenses, saw him earn the equivalent under £7 an hour. The national minimum wage for over-24s is £7.20 but it does not apply to self-employed workers.