Hermes strikes ‘self-employed plus’ deal with union

The subject of employee status has been thrown back into the spotlight as a German parcel delivery firm has struck an agreement with a union offering UK workers a ‘self-employed plus’ status.

The BBC reports Hermes has reached an agreement with the GMB union to offer UK couriers paid holiday and guaranteed wage rates.

Under the deal, Hermes workers can opt-in to receive up to 28 days of paid leave and can also choose pay rates of “at least” £8.50 an hour over the year. For their part, couriers will be required follow routes specified by Hermes.

While Hermes’s 15,000 couriers can currently deliver parcels in whichever order they want, the company says as it is guaranteeing hourly rates of pay, it needs to ensure that couriers are taking the most efficient route.

According to the GMB union, the collective bargaining agreement is on an opt-in basis and “will not affect those couriers who wish to retain their current form of self-employed status and earn premium rates”.

Commenting on the agreement, Hermes UK CEO Martijn de Lange said: “We have listened to our couriers and are wholeheartedly committed to offering innovative ways of working to meet peoples’ differing needs.”