Case brought by GMB follows similar legal action against Amazon and Uber regarding workers’ rights in the so-called ‘gig economy’.
The GMB union started its latest ‘gig economy’ case in the courts this week, this time on behalf of eight Hermes delivery drivers.
The Hermes case is on behalf of couriers who believe they are being denied basic workers’ rights as they are forced to declare themselves as self-employed. If successful, Hermes could be forced to change the way it treats all of its delivery drivers.
The claimants are currently describes as ‘lifestyle couriers’, and Hermes treats them as self-employed so they are not entitled to basic rights such as holiday pay and the national living wage.
The Hermes case is the latest in a succession brought by GMB on behalf of their members to take on bogus self-employment within the ‘gig economy’.
GMB won a groundbreaking legal case in October 2016 against Uber, where an Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers should have workers’ rights. Uber is currently appealing the decision, as it could have major implications for than 30,000 Uber drivers across the country.
GMB General Secretary Tim Roache, said:
GMB’s courier members do a tough job – working long hours with unrealistic targets. They make a fortune for companies like Hermes, the least they should be able to expect in return is the minimum wage and their hard fought rights at work.
Companies 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 companies 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.