Hermes faces legal action over couriers’ employment status


Logistics organisation Hermes is facing legal action over its couriers’ employment status and entitlement to employment rights, such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage.

The legal action started on Monday 30 April 2018, and has been brought by trade union GMB on behalf of eight couriers, currently labelled as ‘lifestyle couriers’ and treated as self-employed.

The case will argue that couriers at Hermes should be classified as workers rather than independent, self-employed contractors. The couriers would then be entitled to employment rights that self-employed contractors do not have access to. This includes receiving holiday pay and the national minimum wage.

Tim Roache, general secretary at GMB, said: “GMB’s courier members do a tough job, working long hours with unrealistic targets. They make a fortune for [organisations] like Hermes, the least they should be able to expect in return is the minimum wage and their hard fought rights at work.

“[Organisations] like Hermes and Uber hide behind terms like ‘flexibility’ to wriggle out of treating the people who make them their money with the respect they deserve.

“Guaranteed hours, holiday pay, sick pay, pension contributions are not privileges [organisations] can dish out when they fancy. They are the legal right of all UK workers, and that’s what we’re asking the courts to rule on.”

Hermes was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.