Lawyers for Hermes couriers welcome union deal on workers' rights
Lawyers who represented Hermes drivers in their employment tribunal cases against the courier company have welcomed the 'ground-breaking' deal between Hermes and the GMB Union.
Posted on 04 February 2019
Law firm Leigh Day won its case on behalf of 27 Hermes couriers in the Employment Tribunal in June 2018, resulting in a judgment that those couriers should be classed as workers and be afforded rights including entitlement to holiday pay and National Minimum Wage.
The GMB Union and Hermes have announced today that they will be offering couriers paid holiday and guaranteed wage rates, in return they will have to follow the routes set by Hermes. Couriers can opt in to the new ‘self-employed plus’ agreement or choose to remain self-employed.
The GMB have stated that the collective bargaining agreement was the first of its kind, and allows those that chose to become ‘self-employed plus’ to join the union.
Leigh Day is representing hundreds of people working in the gig economy who are fighting for workers’ rights against companies including Uber and Deliveroo.
Gabriel Morrison, employment law solicitor at Leigh Day, said:
“It is fantastic to see that the hard work of GMB in fighting for these couriers’ rights has finally paid off and that Hermes were willing to listen to their couriers and come to an agreement that addresses their concerns. This will hopefully ensure that couriers working for Hermes will no longer have to fight through the courts to secure holiday pay and the National Minimum Wage.
“It is clear that gig economy companies must listen to their workforce and cannot expect to get away with denying them their rights much longer.”
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:
“Hermes is leading the way, looking after the people who work for you on the ground day in, day out, is not only good for business but the right thing to do.
“As a result of our groundbreaking agreement, couriers will have a real voice in their workplace as well as the right to holiday pay and guaranteed pay, something GMB Union has long been campaigning for on behalf of our members.
“Full credit to Hermes. They’re showing that the gig economy doesn’t have to be an exploitative economy and we look forward to working with them through this groundbreaking agreement.
“Other employers should take notice, this is how it’s done.”
Martijn de Lange, Hermes UK CEO, said:
“This new option allows couriers to retain the flexibility of self-employment we know is so important to them and gives them the certainty of guaranteed levels of earning, the security of holiday pay and a strong voice.
"We’re proud to be leading the way with this pioneering development which we hope will encourage other companies to reflect on the employment models they use.
"We have listened to our couriers and are wholeheartedly committed to offering innovative ways of working to meet peoples’ differing needs.”