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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 October 4 - 10  > Self-employed Amazon delivery driver recognized as eligible for workers’ comp
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2023 October 4 - 10 [LABOR]

Self-employed Amazon delivery driver recognized as eligible for workers’ comp

October 6, 2023

The Yokosuka Labor Standards Inspection Office in Kanagawa Prefecture has recognized a self-employed delivery driver in his 60s working for the Japanese unit of e-commerce giant Amazon as being eligible for workers’ compensation for the injury he suffered at work.

This was announced by his union, Tokyo Union (GU), which is a member of the Japan Community Union Federation, on October 4 at a press conference in Tokyo. The union said that this is the first time that a self-employed driver handling Amazon deliveries has been recognized as being entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits.

The man works as a self-employed worker under contract with a delivery company that subcontracts parcel deliveries for Amazon. In September 2022, he missed his step during a package delivery, fell down the stairs, and sustained a severe hip fracture. He applied for workers’ compensation with the labor standards inspection office by claiming that he should be treated as “a worker” because he performs his work under direct instructions and supervision from Amazon via its cellphone app.

Unlike employed workers, sole proprietors are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, the labor standards authority judged that in light of his actual work situation, the man is effectively “an employee” and that he is eligible to receive compensation amounting to 50 days of lost earnings.

His lawyers’ team said that this judgement will make it possible for Amazon delivery drivers across Japan to apply for and receive workers’ compensation benefits.
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