Last-Mile Employment Shake-Up as Hermes Signs Groundbreaking Gig Economy Deal

4th February 2019

Logistics BusinessLast-Mile Employment Shake-Up as Hermes Signs Groundbreaking Gig Economy Deal

After a period of public and often heated debate around the treatment of self-employed delivery drivers in the UK, a new agreement promises to alter the working terms and conditions of some last-mile delivery couriers. Hermes’ self-employed couriers in the UK now have the option to take holiday pay and have guaranteed earnings following what the company calls a “ground-breaking” deal between the leading consumer delivery company and UK trade union, the GMB.

The collective bargaining agreement is the first ever recognition deal of its type, and is designed to support the rights of self-employed people providing courier services to Hermes. It reflects that the world of work has changed and how employers can change with it.

Hermes couriers can now choose to become ‘self-employed plus’, which provides a number of benefits such as holiday pay (pro-rata up to 28 days), and individually negotiated pay rates that allow couriers to earn at least £8.55 per hour over the year. In addition, those self-employed plus couriers that join the GMB Union will benefit from full GMB representation.

This is an opt-in model and will not affect those couriers who wish to retain their current form of self-employed status and earn premium rates, as has been the case for the past 20 years.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: “As a result of our ground-breaking 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 ground-breaking agreement. Other employers should take notice, this is how it’s done.”

Shown from left are: Mick Rix, GMB, Tim Roach, GMB, Martijn de Lange, CEO Hermes, Hugo Martin, Director of Legal & Public Affairs, Hermes.