A new "self-employed plus" arrangement between Hermes and its couriers will provide the couriers with individually negotiated pay rates allowing them to earn at least £8.55 per hour, plus holiday pay for up to 28 days a year on a pro rata basis.

This new arrangement comes in response to the Employment Tribunal decisions in 2018 against Hermes where the tribunal found that 65 of its couriers were not self-employed, as argued by Hermes, but workers. This employment status gave the couriers the right to receive national minimum wage and annual leave.

The new collective bargaining agreement will allow couriers to opt-in to an arrangement whereby they also become members of the GMB union (those who do no to join can remain self-employed). Hermes will have a degree of control over the 'Self-employed plus' couriers, who will not be entitled to sick pay and will need to follow routes set out by Hermes, rather than being able to choose the order in which to make deliveries as they presently do.

An interesting development in the current gig economy climate and an arrangement to watch with the tax implications probably a priority for HMRC. 


We are the HR and employment law experts from esphr.

It’s our mission to advise and develop the employment law capability of HR professionals wherever we can, helping HR teams make a real commercial difference to their organisations. That way, you spend less time solving operational issues and more time actioning projects that drive far-reaching change in your company.

Call 0333 006 2929 or email today to discover exactly how we can help you.


Author: Rafia Ahmad

Senior Solicitor, ESP Law Ltd

Rafia trained and qualified with Wedlake Bell LLP, a London City law firm where she was an employment solicitor for six years before moving to the fast paced trading floor of Cantor Fitzgerald LLP, a London based New York prime brokerage/investment bank as in-house employment counsel. Prior to joining ESP, Rafia was a senior employment solicitor for five years with Backhouse Jones, the UK’s number one national road transport law firm. She advises on all employment matters both contentious and non-contentious including tribunal proceedings.