Delivery driver who was threatened with knife made to wait for wages

DPD has invested £1.2m on expanded facilities next the A11 at Snetterton, improvements to the road w

The drivers worked out of the DPD depot off the A11 at Snetterton - Credit: Archant

A delivery driver who quit after being threatened with a knife had to fight to get pay what he was owed.

Adrian Smith delivered parcels for DPD from its Snetterton depot from May 2020 until March this year. In February, while on a job in Great Yarmouth, he was threatened by a man with a knife.

He quit soon after, and said neither DPD, nor the DPD contractor he worked through, called Gee 5, checked to see how he was after the terrifying incident. 

Police were blocking off both Alderson Road and Apollo Walk as they dealt with an incident in Great

Police blocked off Alderson Road and Apollo Walk in Great Yarmouth after the driver was threatened with a knife on February 21 2021 - Credit: Submitted

The grandfather said he was delivering four parcels to a house on Alderson Road when a neighbour came out and shouted at him for the way he was speaking to the customer.

The 62-year old finished the delivery and went back to his van.

“I was sitting in the driver's seat with the window open and he (the neighbour) was standing right next to me with a knife,” Mr Smith said.

“I can’t remember what was said. He then walked away and I sped away and when I stopped I was shaking to bits. I phoned the old bill and then there were blue lights everywhere.”

A man was arrested and released under investigation.

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Almost a month after leaving he said he was still owed £945 by Gee 5 for nine days' work. Mr Smith said he would normally be paid in two weeks. He emailed Gee 5 but heard nothing back. 

“Things have been hard, not being paid,” he said. “I was depending on that money. I had to dig into savings.”

After DPD was contacted by this newspaper on Friday about his case, Gee 5 messaged him saying he had damaged the van and therefore they would only be paying him £190.

However, one of the invoices for damage was for work on a van he had never driven. It has now agreed to pay him £500, which he has accepted.

Mr Smith said: “They only got in contact with me because of the EDP. It is unbelievable.”

A DPD delivery driver.

DPD said it carried out due diligence on its suppliers. The drivers were employed by contractors rather than by DPD - Credit: DPD

Gee 5 declined to comment, but a DPD spokesman said: “DPD is naturally very concerned if any individual is not being paid for work that they have carried out and we have raised the matter with the supplier.”

Another driver, Alfie Atherton, 22, from Thetford, also left Gee 5 in mid- March but as of April 27 said he had not been paid £420 for his last four days of work.

He sent several text messages to a Gee 5 director between March 27 and April 20 asking where his money was, but they have not been replied to.

"They have just been ignoring my messages," the father-of-three said. 

Mr Atherton said he quit after being given too many parcels to deliver in a day’s shift. 

“The most I had to do in a day was about 130 parcels,” he said. I have done 13 to 14 hours a day before.”

A spokesman for DPD, which reported a doubling of profits to £700m in 2020, added that it carried out due diligence on all suppliers as well as audits which included looking at whether contracts were in place with workers.

However, none of the drivers we spoke to had contracts.

It comes after an investigation by this newspaper revealed drivers delivering for Amazon earned as little as £2 an hour. 

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