Fined for missing work?

No one should be fined for being too sick to work. But Don Lane, a driver for parcel delivery company DPD, was. [1] DPD made Don pay £150 for missing a shift to attend a hospital appointment. He was afraid of more fines, so he missed a string of important doctor’s appointments to work. Then he collapsed at the wheel of his delivery van – and died weeks later. [2]

What happened to Don is disgraceful. And right now, thousands of other DPD drivers are facing the same unfair policy. If we want to change it, we have to hit DPD where it hurts: their wallets.

DPD’s business comes from delivering parcels for high-street shops like John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. [3] Most of us will have had something delivered by a DPD driver. So let’s flood DPD with emails, threatening to stop shopping at their biggest customers unless they stop charging their drivers for being sick.

Will you stand up for Don and email DPD now, telling them to stop fining sick drivers? It takes about two minutes, and there’s a suggested email to send. Our backlash could help change their dodgy policy for good:

EMAIL DPD

All of us want to be rewarded for doing a good job and staying loyal to a company. But Don worked for DPD for nineteen years and didn’t get the support he deserved when he ran into health problems. Just six months after he was fined for going to a hospital appointment, he died aged just 53. [4]

DPD has a policy of making drivers pay £150 for missing a shift. Their policy is vague so drivers can be charged even if they have a hospital appointment like Don did. Don’s widow Ruth said that the fine made him “terrified” to take time off from work, so his health suffered. [5]

Stories like Don’s are becoming more common with the rise of the ‘gig economy’ – jobs where workers don’t get steady hours or benefits like sick pay, paid holiday or overtime. [6]

This isn’t the first time 38 Degrees-ers have stood up for people treated badly by their bosses. Last year, over 41,000 of us pressured bubble tea chain Mooboo to scrap unpaid trial shifts. Mooboo listened – and now pay their staff for every hour they’ve worked. [7] When we use our power as customers, we can force businesses to do the right thing.

 

NOTES:
[1] BBC News: DPD delivery driver died after being fined for hospital visit:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-42946855
[2] Daily Mail: DPD courier who was fined £150 for attending a medical appointment to treat his diabetes collapses and dies of the disease:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5352361/DPD-courier-fined-150-attending-doctor.html
[3] The Guardian: Pressure grows on DPD and Theresa May after courier dies of diabetes:
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/05/pressure-grows-on-dpd-and-theresa-may-after-courier-dies-of-diabetes
[4] Daily Mirror: Diabetic parcel courier who was fined £150 for taking day off to see doctor dies of disease:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/diabetic-dpd-courier-who-fined-11972487
[5] See Note [2]
[6] BBC: What is the ‘gig’ economy?:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38930048
[7] 38 Degrees: Mooboo: pay your staff!:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/mooboo-pay-your-staff