Independent delivery workers have become essential after the crisis of the COVID 19 pandemic has changed the lifestyles of everyone. They deliver items like food, alcohol, groceries, and pharmaceuticals to different customer’s homes and offices. However, the working conditions of these drivers have provoked many questions that you should also take into consideration before you hire them. Read on to learn some interesting facts about independent delivery workers, especially if you’re thinking of becoming one during these trying times.

How Much Should Delivery Workers Earn?

Independent delivery contractors are regarded as non-employees implying that they do not get a basic salary and benefits like full-time employees. All the same, when you hire delivery drivers as independent workers, they should get fair wages. Many businesses prefer hiring drivers as independent contractors since this is less expensive. However, most drivers only receive commission-based earnings despite being treated as employees by the companies they work for.


In some instances, independent contractors rely on tips as their source of income. Therefore, it is vital to be considerate if you order a home delivery service. You must tip at least 15% of the total cost of your order so the delivery worker can make a minimum wage from their operations. It’s important to understand that delivery fees are different from tips. The driver can perform additional tasks like carrying the heavy packages up the stairs, but they still get miserable tips. 

Independent Delivery Workers Pay Self-Employment Taxes

Independent contractors are viewed as non-employees, and the companies they work for do not withhold their FICA income taxes. Therefore, if you work as an independent driver, you are entitled to pay a self-employment tax that is determined by your yearly income. As an independent contractor, you are not guaranteed to get a 1099 form that you use for tax filing. However, if you earn more than $600, you will receive a 1099 from Postmates that you must complete and send to the IRS. If your income is less than $600 a year, you will not receive a 1099 form. However, it is best to report your gross income to the IRS and submit this information by January 31 every year. 

Delivery Work Can Be Dangerous

Independent delivery workers spend most of their lives on the road, whether on an electric scooter, bike, or car, which means that they must always be alert. However, delivery work is dangerous since accidents are common as they try to navigate the congested roads. Traffic congestion is one of the leading factors for delays in deliveries. Getting recovery services is also a challenge to independent contractors who have to fix minor problems like flat tires on their own. In short, this type of work is stressful, so be considerate when someone delivers your order.


Another thing is that many people place orders for home delivery when the weather is bad. You could not go to the restaurant due to poor weather, so you should anticipate delays, especially when it is raining. However, bad weather conditions imply the delivery workers will grab more deliveries than they usually experience; this means that they can make more money when the outlook is not good. 

Visiting The Bathroom Is Rare For Delivery Workers

Jokes aside, delivery workers are human too, but they seldom get time to visit the bathroom.  Going to the bathroom may not be easy since the drivers are always on the roads and navigating the streets in different suburbs to reach their customers on time. Some of the independent drivers may end up suffering from bladder problems because of restricted visits to the bathroom. 

Racism On The Job Is Common  

The majority of independent delivery workers in any area consist of drivers from minority groups. Likewise, racism and exploitation are prevalent as the drivers are often exposed to bad treatment by different groups they interact with. For most delivery workers, English is not their first language since the majority of them are migrants, and this creates a communication barrier.  The most common form of racist remarks emerges when the recipients of the orders try to mimic the driver’s accent instead of engaging them respectably. 

Valid Contracts Help Clarify Expectations For Delivery Workers

Though independent contractors are seen as non-employees, valid contracts with businesses they work for help define the expectations for paid workers. A contract also helps the two parties understand the relationship that exists between them. However, it does not serve as proof to the IRS that the independent worker is a contractor. Ultimately, a contractual obligation benefits the business and the driver as it outlines the expectations of both parties.  It is essential to check the labor laws in your state.  

The Hiring Company Controls The Working Conditions of Delivery Workers

Your company has the right to control the working hours and other related conditions if the independent delivery drivers work exclusively for you. There is a gap in the way independent contractors perform their work against the laws of different states. For instance, when you decide that they must wear a uniform when on duty, then they cease to be independent contractors. However, this is not the case since many businesses break the law and set their own rules and regulations that guide the operations of the drivers. When drivers are compelled to operate within the regulations of the company policies, they should not be regarded as independent contractors. Interestingly, many companies, including the larger ones, often break the laws to satisfy their business interests. 

While delivery workers are now more essential than ever, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are exposed to different working conditions. Several things affect independent delivery workers that you must know when dealing with them. The drivers are generally viewed as none workers, but their working conditions state otherwise since they are expected to adhere to company policies. Independent contractors are also vulnerable to exploitation as they work under challenging conditions and get little pay. They are also supposed to pay self-employment taxes despite the challenges they encounter in their operations.