Self employed van drivers working for delivery firm Hermes now have the option to take holiday pay and have guaranteed earnings.
Couriers can now choose ‘self-employed plus’ status, which allows pro-rata holiday pay for up to 28 days, and individually negotiated pay rates that allow couriers to earn at least £8.55 per hour over the year.
This is the result of a collective bargaining agreement between Hermes and the trade union GMB – said to be the first of its kind for the gig economy.
It is an opt-in arrangement, and will not affect drivers who wish to remain fully self-employed.
Hermes UK CEO Martijn de Lange said: “This new option allows couriers to retain the flexibility of self-employment we know is so important to them and gives them the certainty of guaranteed levels of earning, the security of holiday pay and a strong voice.
"We’re proud to be leading the way with this pioneering development, which we hope will encourage other companies to reflect on the employment models they use.
"We have listened to our couriers and are wholeheartedly committed to offering innovative ways of working to meet peoples’ differing needs.”
GMB general secretary Tim Roache said: “Hermes is leading the way. Looking after the people who work for you on the ground day in, day out, is not only good for business but the right thing to do.
“As a result of our ground-breaking agreement, couriers will have a real voice in their workplace as well as the right to holiday pay and guaranteed pay, something GMB has long been campaigning for on behalf of our members.
“Full credit to Hermes. They’re showing that the gig economy doesn’t have to be an exploitative economy and we look forward to working with them through this agreement.
“Other employers should take notice, this is how it’s done.”