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The gig economy should take note following historic workers rights deal says GMB

“Companies across the gig economy should sit up and take notice” 

Hermes’ self-employed couriers now have the option to take holiday pay and have guaranteed earnings following a groundbreaking deal between the leading consumer 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 self-employed people providing courier services to Hermes. It reflects that the world of work has changed and how employers can change with it.

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. In addition, those self-employed plus couriers that join the GMB Union will benefit from full GMB representation.

This deal paves the way for other workers in the gig economy, most notably drivers at minicab firms Uber and Addison Lee.

Tim Roache, the General Secretary of the GMB, said: “ I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - the profits of companies in the 'gig econony' are made on the back of their workers. Too many jobs in our society are paid too little but those in the gig economy often experience increased insecurity, lower pay, long hours with tough (in some cases unrealistic) targets, for all of that, many end up paid below the minimum wage.

“For years now, GMB has been calling out those companies who try wriggle out of their most basic responsibilities to their workers. Our case against Uber made international headlines when that poster child for the gig economy was told that their business model was not legal in the UK.

“Today I’m proud to announce a groundbreaking deal that companies across the gig economy should sit up and take notice of.

“Today we're launching a landmark agreement between Hermes, the leading consumer delivery company, and GMB Union.

“This is the first collective bargaining agreement of its type, it will give enhaced rights and a real voice at work to self-employed workers in Hermes.

“From today onwards couriers have the option to become ‘self-employed plus’. This will allow workers to retain the flexibility of self-employment (which many of our courier members want) while also giving them the certainty of guaranteed levels of earning, holiday pay and a a recognised union in their workplace.” 

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