3 Aug 2018

Courier drivers told to fork out for own replacement uniforms

From Checkpoint, 5:13 pm on 3 August 2018

New Zealand Courier drivers in Hawke's Bay have been told if their uniforms aren't up to scratch, the company will buy replacement items at the driver's cost.

A memo to drivers from a manager at the Hawke's Bay depot has been given to Checkpoint and it explicitly tells the drivers if their uniforms aren't satisfactory the company will unilaterally replace them "at your cost".

Earlier this week, Checkpoint revealed First Union was to take legal action to determine whether courier drivers were independent contractors or employees, under Section 6 of the Employment Relations Act.

A former chief judge of the Employment Court, Graeme Colgan, said it was not what the contract said that mattered, it was how the contractor was required to work.  

"The label is meaningless as far as the law is concerned the law is concerned with substance rather than form," he said.    

Checkpoint has heard from claims from courier drivers detailing their working relationship with the companies they are delivering for with common issues arising such as having to buy their own vehicles, but not being able to use them to drive for anyone else.

Other claims include them being called independent, but being required to work specified hours and being required to buy and wear the company uniform.

Freightways were contacted for comment but declined.

Checkpoint's John Campbell visited Freightways' Penrose office in Auckland to try and investigate further.