Hello, my dears!
Those of you who are frequent readers know that I try to keep the tone of this blog, for the most part, light-hearted and fancy-free. Now and again, however, there comes a time to discuss more serious issues; and today, unfortunately, is one of those days.
As you well know, a big portion of my readership works in the delivery industry. Some are affiliated to companies, whilst others work at self-employed courier jobs. Both are perfectly respectable in their own right, of course, but today's post is aimed at the latter in particular, as something of a cautionary tale. Yes, I know, I am a meddlesome old aunt, but I would loathe for one of my readers to fall into the same situation as the woman in this article I just read. The poor dear worked as a self-employed courier for 14 years, with no returns, and has just lost her job! She was around my age as well, which means she will have an even harder time finding employment. Ghastly!
"Tamar Couriers GN53OPR" © 2007 didbygraham, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
Fortunately, as the article also tells us, there is a campaign out there to prevent more situations like this from happening. It has the very British name 'Gizza Proper Job', and aims to help those in the delivery industry determine if they do indeed have se
lf-employed courier jobs, or if they are just being short-changed on the pay and benefit scales by unscrupulous companies. The campaign was put into motion by the Daily Mirror, which conducted the investigation that came up with such shocking stories and facts.
According to the report, many self-employed courier jobs are
in fact full time courier jobs in disguise. Instead of the flexible and accommodating schedule a self-employed position usually allows for, these couriers are given constant back-to-back rounds, which end up amounting to a full-time job – with the difference that they are receiving less benefits and lower salaries than 'real' full-time employees, whilst paying more tax. If this sounds like your situation, dears, I recommend you query your local Revenues and Customs office, to see if you are being paid your due. I know I am telling Stevie to do as much!
Now, let's not get carried away, however; I have enough schooling to know most of these "investigations" should be taken with a pinch of salt. Interviews, whether with the employer or with the employees, will always lean towards one side of th
e story, whilst trying to make the other side look like the bad guys. Still, I feel that most of my readers are surrogate nieces and nephews, and as a concerned Auntie, I feel like I ought to remind you of that old adage: “better safe than sorry”.
Best of luck, dears!