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Analysing Labour Risks Within a Self-employed Driver Model for a UK Retailer

February 11, 2022 | Case Study,


In 2021, Anthesis was commissioned by an online UK retailer to undertake an independent due diligence assessment and evaluation of the company’s self-employed driver model.  

Delivery drivers are essential to any online business delivering goods and services to customers. The retailer contacted Anthesis as the business was impacted by a shortage of drivers. This was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also created supply chain disruptions and highlighted the health and safety risks to transport and delivery drivers and the potential for poor working conditions and low pay.


The Project

Anthesis worked with the company to understand the employer’s current driver models and identify and prioritise key labour risks, considering upcoming legislation and public consultations in this area. The work identified the key risks of the current self-employment model compared to an employed driver model and made a number of recommendations to mitigate those risks. The study also reviewed the current due diligence process, recruitment policies, and assessment, and monitoring requirements for drivers within the organisation.  Driver shortage, employment conditions and working conditions were confirmed as key areas for focus.

Anthesis completed a competitor benchmark of the driver model, which included information collected from interviews about the drivers and examined existing data from the public domain. Best practices and gaps were highlighted during this study. This supported the retailer to start rating its performance on the driver model compared to other businesses, to help set the direction for the work that would be required in the future.

The study referenced the UK labour market was facing serious medium and long-term challenges in the light of low productivity and wages, workers, the threat to jobs posed by automation, as well as the challenges of migration. Whilst the gig economy provides a potential solution to these challenges, which is created by a quick exchange of work through digital platforms, there are concerns about current working conditions and practices.

Anthesis believes that the retailer is committed to continuously improving and adapting their CSR behaviours with a focus on the driver model and standards.

Key services delivered

  • A review of the business and understanding the current recruitment process for the company’s drivers
  • Research on the current key employment models, gaps and legislation in the UK, such as the Good Work Plan ​
  • Benchmarking and analysis of current driver model against its peers, along with analysis and case studies ​
  • Review of the internal risk management process, working conditions, modern slavery statement, training, and capacity building
  • Identifying gaps and current recommendations


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