Amazon is no longer cutting into drivers’ tips to pay their base wages


Amazon is ending its practice of using Flex drivers’ tips to cover a portion of their base pay, the company confirmed to Business Insider on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the change.

Amazon will also give drivers more transparency about how drivers are being paid – including the amount they’re being paid and how much of that pay comes from their tips. The update comes after The Los Angeles Times reported in February that Amazon would sometimes use tips given to drivers to cover part of their guaranteed base pay. Although drivers were guaranteed $US18 to $US25 per hour, Amazon on average only put $US19 on average toward that hourly wage, the report says.

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“We are excited to announce that starting August 22 we will be raising Amazon’s minimum contribution for Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market blocks,” an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement. “Amazon’s contribution will be at least $US15-$US19 per scheduled hour, depending on location. As always, for deliveries with tipping opportunities, drivers receive 100% of the tips. While earnings vary by region and block, with the change to Amazon’s minimum contribution, we expect nationwide average earnings for these blocks to increase to more than $US27 per hour.”

Amazon Flex is a program that allows on-demand drivers to make Amazon deliveries using their own vehicles. Flex drivers use an app to set their schedule, check their earnings, and navigate their delivery route. Amazon touts the program as a flexible gig where drivers can make their own schedule, similar to working as an Uber or Lyft driver.

Amazon isn’t the only delivery company coming under fire for using tips to cover base pay. Instacart stopped using customer tips to contribute to the $US10 per delivery minimum earlier this year after the policy resulted in backlash, BuzzFeed News reported in February. DoorDash, which also was criticised for using tips for base salaries, said on Thursday that 100% of tips will now go toward the driver. The move comes after DoorDash promised to revise its tipping policy last month.