Support for medical checkups emerged as a key issue at a joint meeting of relevant government ministries on November 12 to prevent death by overwork of delivery drivers. Against this backdrop, Coupang is drawing attention for its already existing health care program for delivery drivers.
According to the company sources, Coupang's full-time delivery drivers, called Coupang Friends, are covered by the four major social insurances (National Pension, National Health Insurance, Employment Insurance and Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance). They also receive annual comprehensive medical examinations that include endoscopic and ultrasound tests, just like regular salaried office workers.
Separate from this, nightshift delivery workers receive additional special health checkups, while new hires are further tested for cardiovascular disease during their medical examinations. Coupang covers all costs required for further examinations. Not only the drivers, but also their family members are covered by a group comprehensive health insurance policy that covers actual hospital and treatment costs.
If a medical checkup finds abnormal signs that require a follow-up examination, a "traveling health team" of doctors and nurses visits fulfillment centers throughout the country for regular health consultations. Consultation sessions with the team are open to any Coupang employee who wants it, even if they have not been flagged for a follow-up examination. These services are free of charge.
Coupang's practice of directly employing its drivers is also emerging as an alternative to the government's policy to improve the existing paid leave system.
Coupang Friends, who are directly employed by the e-commerce company, are guaranteed a maximum 52-hour, 5-day workweek, as well as 15 days of paid annual leave and severance pay, and are reimbursed for fuel and mobile telephony costs. Meanwhile, independent contractor delivery drivers for other firms must cover fuel and phone costs themselves.
Moreover, Coupang is also working to improve the health and welfare of its delivery workers by hiring 4,400 workers specifically for pre-deliver package sorting. The amounts of sorting work done without pay by drivers has emerged as a key issue related to their being overworked.
"We hope that the government's policy to expand leave time and support medical checkups will help improve the logistics industry, which is often criticized for unreasonable working conditions," a Coupang spokesperson said. "In line with these policies, Coupang will continue to create the best working conditions, including strengthening health checkups and promoting the welfare of its delivery drivers."