United Kingdom - Ground-breaking deal gives Herms couriers more workers’ rights - June 1, 2019

Courier service Herms has agreed upon a deal with trade union GMB that will give their approximately 15000 couriers the choice of being ‘self-employed plus’. Herms used to consider their couriers as self­employed which means that they were not entitled to the rights a normal workers has. A ruling from the employment tribunal last year however stated that Hermes drivers should be considered ‘workers’ and not self-employed. Union and Hermes have negotiated a middle way solution that is unique in the landscape of the gig-economy. Couriers can now chose to be self-employed plus. If they do so they are entitled to the national minimum wage (if over 25 the national living wage applies, working time rights which include breaks, paid holiday and a limit to weekly working hours, the right to join a union, health and safety protection, protection from unlawful discrimination and data protection rights. Couriers working under the self-employed plus conditions do have to give up a large part of their autonomy as they no longer can decide upon their own daily scheme but must follow a specific route as decided by the company.

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For more information, please contact Sanne van der Gaag or Sjaak van der Velden, De Burcht (Scientific Bureau for the Dutch Trade Union Movement) sannevandergaag@deburcht.org or the Head of communications at the ETUI, Steve Coulter scoulter@etui.org. For previous full issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit www.etui.org/E-Newsletters/Collective-bargaining-newsletter or consult the archive with all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.eu. You may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org.


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