Workplace Report June 2021

Bargaining news

Negotiated improvements for self-employed couriers

The GMB union and parcel delivery company Hermes have agreed further benefits for “self employed-plus” couriers, updating their ground-breaking 2019 agreement. From 27 March 2021, all SE+ couriers stood to benefit from increased payments, including increased rates for parcel collections and additional incentives.

Since the deal was struck the option to become an SE+ courier has been taken up by more than 70% of the workers, around 20,000 people, the union says. It adds: “Their continued self-employed status means that they are still able to maintain the flexibility that so many couriers treasure, fitting in their deliveries alongside their other, often family, commitments”. Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said the couriers now have a real voice in their workplace and the right to take holidays and the right to guaranteed pay.

Martijn de Lange, CEO at Hermes UK, highlighted independent research showing that over three-quarters of the workers believe their health and wellbeing has improved as a result of having paid holidays. “This is particularly important given the challenging events of the past year where they have played a vital role in ensuring that people have been able to get essential items delivered safely,” he said.