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Hermes Couriers Deemed Workers in Landmark Tribunal Ruling

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A group of 65 Hermes couriers have successfully won their legal battle to be treated as workers instead of independents contractors. This case follows on from a number of recent successful gig-economy cases, with this one seen to have the most significant victory to date.

The Tribunal ruled that the couriers were not self-employed as argued by Hermes and were therefore entitled to receive the minimum wage and holiday pay. The couriers were also entitled to reclaim unlawful deductions from their wages.

GMB Trade Union, who helped bring the claim, said this ruling was likely to impact roughly 14,500 Hermes couriers who are engaged under the same contract as the couriers who took the case to the Employment Tribunal.

There will be a further hearing to calculate the back pay the workers should receive as a result of unpaid holiday pay and national minimum wage.

Tim Roache, GMB’s general secretary added the decision was “another nail in the coffin of the exploitative bogus self-employment model which is increasingly rife across the UK.”

More recently, Pimlico Plumbers lost their legal battle in which the same principle of worker or self-employed was argued as well as Uber.

Who else will be joining the gig-economy train? Only time will tell.

If you require advice on any of the issues above or any other area of Employment Law, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Chattertons’ Employment Team.