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  • Writer's pictureLili

HR Tips: When can delivery workers be entitled to employee benefits?

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

The "Zeek case" earlier this month established the relationship between delivery drivers and logistics companies as one of employment, with the employer required to bear the costs of severance pay and unpaid wages for the workers. In light of the court's ruling, the growing number of delivery workers are expressing concern about whether they can establish an "employment relationship" with the delivery platform under similar circumstances.

Delivery workers can decide their own working hours, and the delivery platform only pays according to the number of orders fulfilled, without providing other employee benefits or protections. The adjudicator in the "Zeek case" considered factors such as the payment of a fixed salary and the requirement for the plaintiff to wear a uniform, deciding that the delivery driver was not self-employed. So, can delivery workers, who also need to wear uniforms, establish their employee status based on this precedent?

Lili believes that even if the court successfully determines in the future that delivery workers are employees, they may not necessarily enjoy the benefits provided by the company.

Firstly, only those part-time workers who are "continuously employed" can enjoy protections beyond their wages, such as rest days, paid annual leave, sickness allowance, severance pay, and long-service payments. "Continuous employment" refers to working for the same employer for four consecutive weeks or more, with a minimum of 18 hours per week. Therefore, delivery workers need to meet this standard to be eligible for these benefits.

Secondly, current delivery platforms cannot accurately calculate the working hours of delivery workers. Delivery workers typically choose their own working hours, wait at specific locations for orders, pick up meals from restaurants, and finally deliver them to customers. However, it is difficult to define when this period constitutes "working hours". If the daily working hours cannot be accurately calculated, it is impossible to determine "continuous employment" for part-time jobs. Therefore, there's still a long way to go before delivery workers in Hong Kong can enjoy employee benefits.

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