Self-employed couriers at Hermes are now able to take holiday pay and have guaranteed earnings following a deal between the delivery company and GMB union.
The collective bargaining agreement is the first ever recognition deal of its type, and is designed to support the rights of ‘gig economy’ workers.
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.
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.
Martijn de Lange, CEO of Hermes UK, 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.”
Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, added: “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.
“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.”