LONDON — Delivery workers may be in high demand these days, but that doesn’t mean every company is treating them the right way. A new survey finds over four in five delivery drivers are experiencing burnout and fear they’ll lose their jobs if they don’t make all their drop-offs on time. When a delivery doesn’t go according to plan, roughly half of these workers claim their employers are taking illegal actions against them!
For many in the service industry, tipping is a way of life and can mean the difference between making ends meet or struggling to pay the bills. With that in mind, the poll of 1,002 delivery drivers by Circuit Route Planner reveals that 45 percent claim their employers don’t give them 100 percent of their tips. Another 54 percent claim their company didn’t pay them overtime wages when they were forced to deliver packages after their normal hours.
When delivery workers failed to make all of their scheduled drop-offs, 69 percent say their employers have also withheld their pay until all the deliveries were completed. Researchers note all of these practices are illegal.
Tipping is also a very timely issue in the United States, as the federal government is considering some controversial changes that would affect these workers during tax season. In early February 2023, the IRS announced they are considering the rollout of a new tip reporting program, linking the tax agency and employers in service industries. The proposal aims to “improve tip reporting compliance” — cracking down on the 30 percent of businesses with tip reporting agreements who reportedly do not report all of their worker’s tips.
Customers are also making things harder for drivers
Problem employers aren’t the only ones putting the squeeze on delivery drivers. In fact, one in five delivery customers want to put a literal squeeze on these workers!
The survey finds 19 percent of delivery drivers claim a customer has invited them to come in for a hookup. Nearly half of UPS drivers say a customer has propositioned them while they were on the clock.
Unfortunately, taking the time for a midweek make out session can just leave delivery workers feeling even more pressure. A staggering 98 percent of respondents say they feel some amount of pressure to make all their deliveries on time. However, many customers don’t make it easy for these drivers.
Nearly six in 10 (57%) drivers have been asked to bring large packages inside their customer’s home. Another 46 percent say a customer has asked them to accept an unpackaged return. Four in 10 say customers often ask them to sit there and wait for them to arrive back home so they can sign for a package. On a lighter note, 28 percent of delivery drivers say customers invite them inside to eat with them.
However, many customers take things a little too far, with 51 percent of drivers claiming a customer asked them to dance in front of their home’s doorbell camera.
Who’s feeling the most pressure?
It turns out that package delivery workers are at the top of the list. A whopping 92 percent of United States Postal Service (USPS) drivers have experienced burnout, followed by UPS drivers (90%) and Grubhub workers (87%). Also making the list are drivers for Postmates (4th), FedEx (5th), Amazon (6th), and Uber Eats (7th).
Among Amazon delivery drivers specifically, 56 percent claim the online retail giant did not pay them overtime when their deliveries ran past their scheduled daily hours. Overall, working overtime can also be a dangerous proposition in the delivery world. Nearly 80 percent of respondents admit they’ve driven while drowsy while working more hours.
So, what keeps delivery drivers on the road despite all these issues? The answer is apparently fear. Eighty-three percent of respondents fear their employer will fire them if they fail to make all of their scheduled deliveries.