Asos condemned as delivery drivers face redundancy

Asos has been criticised by a union as around 70 drivers, who have been delivering clothes throughout the coronavirus pandemic, face redundancy.

Campaigners have called for the online fashion giant to secure the jobs of the drivers who are delivering its parcels across central London.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) said the drivers, who are subcontracted to deliver Asos parcels by outsourcing firm Menzies, are due to lose their jobs after Asos changed its delivery provider.

It said Asos agreed a new deal with DPD to deliver its parcels, but the drivers had been informed they would be transferred to move with the contract to DPD at the end of April.

The union said the workers were expected to transfer in line with Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations which were introduced to protect the jobs of workers when contracts are moved.

However, the drivers, who use electric vehicles, said they were told the transfer had been cancelled four days after being told they would be taken on by DPD, the union said.

Jakaria Khan, a delivery driver for Asos, said: “We’re being chucked on the scrap heap. Our jobs were supposed to be safe.

“We were promised a transfer to DPD, but now we’re all going to be made redundant, with no hope of future employment. We are facing the abyss, mid-pandemic.”

It comes days after Asos raised £247 million in funding in a bid to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Max Dewhurst, vice president of the IWGB, said: “Even during this horrific pandemic, Asos, DPD and Hermes are undermining the basic rights of drivers who, like many key workers, clock in every day to keep the country running, at considerable risk to their health.

“Now more than ever, they need and deserve financial security and respect for their basic employment rights.

“Save jobs and stand behind the workers by boycotting Asos from April 9 to April 30.”

A spokesman for Menzies said: “Menzies Distribution received notification of the Asos delivery service contract termination in January 2020 and worked to mitigate any detrimental impact on our employees.

“Based on legal guidance and the information available to us at this time, we are regrettably in redundancy talks with the affected team members.”

Asos declined to comment.