Lieferando: Couriers get more wages, smartphones and bicycles

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Lieferando is improving its employment standards: The delivery service announced on Monday that it had increased the wages for its around 10,000 couriers and was expanding their equipment with the option of a company smartphone and bicycle. The guaranteed hourly wage should increase from the current national average of 10.50 euros to 11 euros. This enables earnings of up to 18 euros per hour, including bonuses, digital tips and flat rates. So far, this maximum value was 16.50 euros.

The increased base payment has been in effect since January 1st. According to the company, it gives Lieferando drivers almost ten percent higher earnings. This applies regardless of “how much they deliver, whether they are waiting for an order, are on sick leave or on vacation”. The guaranteed wage level is already higher than that of service staff in restaurants, for example. In general, this would “continue to make significantly higher average earnings” possible. Lieferando drivers had asked for 15 euros per hour during protests in Nuremberg in November. In November of last year, the Federal Labor Court obliged delivery services to provide bicycles and mobile phones as work equipment – or to pay compensation for the use of their own devices.

In general, the minimum wage in this country should actually rise to 10.45 euros by the end of the year. At least this was decided by the minimum wage commission, in which representatives from employers and trade unions sit. The new traffic light government alliance wants to raise the minimum wage in the current year but unscheduled to twelve euros. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil has announced a corresponding law in “a few days, weeks”. The SPD politician emphasized that this project should be implemented in 2022. Employers and business-related groups reject the initiative as a violation of collective bargaining autonomy.

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Lieferando also wants to provide more work equipment between February and the end of March and, according to its own information, also exceed industry standards. In addition to their almost 20-part equipment, all couriers should receive an offer for business use of a smartphone with a data flat rate. This is “waterproof and shockproof”. The option includes a maintenance and damage service, the costs of which are also borne by the group.

All couriers should also be able to use bicycles provided, by the end of the 1st quarter even in cities without a bicycle warehouse. Employees should be able to choose freely between a bike provided by the employer, a leasing bike or “their own vehicle”. Lieferando wants to compensate for the last two options with a mileage allowance in addition to wages. In addition, drivers should get leased bicycles at a reduced price and with a maintenance service. This model also allowed them to privately use subsidized electric bicycles to cover their costs.

“Our couriers do an excellent job for our restaurant partners and customers,” said Alexander Linden, Germany manager of Lieferando’s logistics service Takeaway Express, explaining the move. They are supported with an overall package consisting of “permanent direct employment, first-class pay and unique equipment”. This also increases the industry standard in Germany.

For a long time, the company has made it a point not to be lumped together with other gig economy services and to support the EU initiative to better protect platform workers: drivers are regularly employed and fully insured. You do not work with independent couriers or with subcontractors. But there are also partnerships with restaurants. In these cases it is theoretically possible that suppliers would have to pay for their work equipment themselves, but this was not specified by Lieferando.

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