DPD fleshes out new driver T&Cs

After the shock of one of its drivers dying due to not taking time off work, DPD has pledged that all of its drivers are to receive at least the equivalent of ‘at least the Real Living Wage’. DPD has also announced more detail on the new self-employed worker contract that now includes pension, paid holiday as well as sick pay.

In a statement DPD said that the launch of the new Driver Code “follows a widespread internal review, consultation with hundreds of the carrier’s drivers and input from leading figures in the Labour movement”.

According to DPD, all of its drivers are to be briefed individually in the next few weeks on the new employment terms being offered as of the 2nd July.

The DPD statement explained: “The new Driver Code is based on choice, flexibility, opportunity and clear communication. It lays out the guiding principles of the relationship between DPD and its drivers.

“At the core of the new Code is the option for all drivers to be able to choose how they contract with DPD. All drivers will be able to choose if they want to be employed directly by DPD, be a self-employed franchisee or become a self-employed worker.

“The new worker contract is designed to generate driver earnings of £28,800 per annum on average, based on a standard five-day week contract, with no upper cap on earnings. In addition, workers will receive 28 days paid holiday, a pension and sick pay.

“To ensure that all its self-employed drivers receive at least the equivalent of the Real Living Wage, DPD will monitor and measure their earnings on a monthly basis. This process will be independently audited by one of the UK’s leading financial audit organisations.”

Lord Watts, the former chairman of the Labour Parliamentary Party, and Iain Wright, the former chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee in the House of Commons, acted as external advisers to DPD on the Driver Code.

DPD added: “In future, all new DPD drivers will have the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’, by starting as an employed driver before deciding if they wish to be a self-employed worker, a self-employed franchisee, or remain as an employee. Before becoming self-employed, they will have access to free, independent business advice from approved suppliers.

“DPD’s current breach system for self-employed drivers will be scrapped altogether and replaced by a clear and consistent points-based Service Failure System to monitor service delivery and contract performance. Drivers will be briefed in detail on the new system before the introduction and there will be a full review before any points are allocated.

“To improve communication with drivers still further, DPD has created two new roles within the depot network; Owner Driver Relationship Managers and Service Champions. The onus is on ensuring effective two-way communication with drivers in each depot and creating more opportunities for drivers to give feedback direct to management and communicate concerns.”

Dwain McDonald, CEO of DPD commented: “The Driver Code represents a complete reappraisal of every aspect of our driver package. Our aim is simple – to make DPD the carrier of choice for delivery drivers and for our drivers to be the best rewarded in the industry. The feedback we’ve already had from the depots suggests we are on the right track. Many of the ideas here have come directly from the meetings my team and I have had with drivers and their input has been vital throughout this process.

“I think the new worker contract is a great package and it will set the benchmark in our industry. But we’ve made it very clear that we think it should be about driver choice – there are three great ways to contract with DPD now and drivers are free to choose which one suits them best.

“Loads of our drivers tell us they still love the self-employed franchisee model because of the flexibility and the capacity to earn significantly more. While we’ve been able to improve this contract further as part of this review, we recognise that it isn’t for everyone. In future we want to make sure that drivers fully understand the risks and the benefits, whichever way they contract with us. By introducing ‘try before you buy’, plain English contracts, free, independent business advice and the ability to switch contracts, we aim to get every driver onto the right contract for them.”