Tribunal says Hermes couriers are workers not self-employed

An employment tribunal in Leeds has ruled that a group of Hermes couriers are workers, not self-employed.

The ruling means that the 65 workers who brought the claim are entitled to receive the national minimum wage and holiday pay. It’s the latest legal triumph in the battle against bogus self employment, says the GMB union. It says the finding could potentially apply to other couriers who work for Hermes – there are understood to be around 14,500 employed under the same contracts.

This comes after big wins in ‘the ground-breaking fight against bogus self-employment against Uber and Addison Lee’ says the GMB ruling and it shows ‘the gig economy for what it is’.

Frank Field MP, who chairs the work and pensions committee said the decision is a ‘mega mega knockback to those companies still using old means of exploiting vulnerable workers’.

“Can even the World Cup produce a better result than this? It ranks among the most substantial judicial interventions ever to support vulnerable workers in this country,” says Field.

A Hermes spokesman said: “We will carefully review the tribunal’s decision, but we are likely to appeal it given that it goes against previous decisions, our understanding of the witness evidence and what we believe the law to be. Nevertheless we have always been fully prepared for any outcome of this decision and its impact.”

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