Please find attached a CWU report on bogus self-employment in the parcels industry, which follows the NEC’s agreement last year to produce a report on this issue as part of our new deal for workers campaign.

The report examines the extent of bogus self-employment in parcels; the ways workers are being mistreated and exploited; and the need for action to address this.  The NEC has agreed to publish the report and to carry out its recommendations.  The report has also been endorsed by the Postal Executive Committee.  It was produced by the CWU Research Department working in conjunction with the General Secretary’s Department and the Postal, Central Organising and Communications Departments.

The report is based on the results of a survey and interviews of parcel delivery workers – both CWU members and non-members – which evidence exploitative practices in the sector.  The findings show that self-employed drivers are much more likely than employed drivers to report poorer outcomes on a number of metrics, including on income and unfair treatment.   However, self-employed drivers are more likely to report that their work is flexible.

The report recommends carrying out further research to fully understand the specific problems facing parcel workers in different companies; establishing what kind of membership offer would be attractive to owner-drivers in this sector; and to continue our work with other trade unions to establish minimum acceptable labour standards.

In the meantime, the CWU will continue to defend and enhance our directly employed members’ terms and conditions in Parcelforce, as well as reviewing the best way to address our concerns over the company’s position on self-employed drivers.  Equally, we must recognise that it is only through sector wide collaboration that we can lift standards for all drivers and tackle the race to the bottom on pay and conditions that presents a growing threat to all postal workers.  This is particularly the case as the parcels market expands and competition intensifies.

Work will continue with the GS, Postal, Central Organising, Research and Communications Departments and the NEC to take these objectives forward.

The report has been published on the CWU’s website at the following link:

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward
General Secretary


Bogus self-employment in the parcesl industry report 

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