DHL does not compensate deliverers for all working hours
International courier DHL has failed to compensate their delivery crews for the entirety of their working hours, according to research carried out by regional broadcaster RTV Oost. The situation concerns young people who work for DHL on flexible contracts or as a side job. The delivery people are missing out on hundreds of euros for essentially unpaid labor.
The uncompensated hours are a result of packing times. DHL expects drivers to pack their vans before they officially start their shifts, a process which can easily take an hour.
The broadcaster originally focused on a single DHL location in Oldenzaal, Overijssel. Since that report was made publid, RTV Oost said current and former DHL drivers from locations all around the country have claimed similar treatment.
Experts said that these conditions are not legal. "The company has to pay for these hours. Working time starts when you are subordinate to the employer. That is clearly the case here. Packing is of course, also normal work," said Evert Verhulp, professor of employment law at the University of Amsterdam.
More unpaid hours were also reported due to problems at the shipment centers such as a lack of available vans. Employees must be present and available to work at their scheduled times, but they are only paid if there is a vehicle available for them to use.
“We are shocked by this, this should not happen. But for us, this situation is unthinkable. Deliverers must report to a manager if this has gone wrong," said a DHL spokesperson.
However, workers have expressed hesitation to raise complaints with managers. "Hardly anyone does that. Then maybe they won't use us anymore," said one person who wished to remain anonymous. When one worker complained about unpaid packing time, management reportedly told him to "pack faster".
Professor Verhulp understands the tricky situation drivers are in, but urges them to "go to the union and reclaim the wages that you still owe. You have worked and so you are entitled to your wages.”
One deliverer has already taken his complaints to the union, according to the broadcaster.