The GMB Union has welcomed a £1 million pledge by Hermes to support self-employed workers.
The company says that if drivers need to self-isolate as a result of the coronavirus they will help find someone to deliver on their behalf and guarantee that their rounds will be kept open for them for when they return.
They are also expected to be offered a lump sum for the two-week period of self-isolation.
“This is an extraordinary situation,” said Martijn De Lange, chief executive of Hermes UK.
“We have taken the decision to help support our couriers financially if they need help and also ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus.
“It is simply the right thing to do and I hope that other organisations will follow our lead.”
Earlier this week NHS contractor ISS announced all staff would receive full pay in cases of coronavirus self-isolation, with fellow contractor Sodexo fowling suit shortly after.
Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: “Hermes have once again taken the industry lead and shown the gig economy how things should be done.
“By setting up this fund to assist those couriers they are not just protecting people who deliver for them, they are helping to keep the British public safe.
“This is a very welcome step in the right direction, and all employers across the UK shout follow their example.”