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Improved pay deals for gig economy workers announced

04 February 2019

Parcel delivery firm Hermes and the GMB union have reached an agreement to provide couriers with paid holiday and guaranteed wage rates.

This will be viewed with interest by a number of companies and workers in the FM sector, following increasing discussion on the impact of the so-called gig economy on the industry.

The deal applies to workers choosing the Hermes 'self-employed plus' status and has been described as "ground-breaking" by the union.

It allows workers to opt-in to receive up to 28 days of paid annual leave and minimum pay rates of £8.50 over the year.

Reporting on the deal, the BBC said "an employment expert" had "raised questions about the tax implications" of the new deal.

With Hermes couriers presently allowed to deliver parcels in the order they wish, those wishing to receive the new arrangements will need to follow routes specified by the company in future.

The company said this was to ensure couriers are taking the most efficient routes as a result of it guaranteeing hourly pay rates, etc.

Those workers wishing to retain their current self-employed status will be free to do so.

Hermes chief executive Martijn de Lange said: "We have listened to our couriers and are wholeheartedly committed to offering innovative ways of working to meet peoples' differing needs."

Employment expert Martin Taylor told the BBC that questions remain over the paying of national insurance within the new deal.

He believes it is likely that HMRC will require those signing up to self-employed plus to pay national insurance as employees, which will also have further implications for Hermes.

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