GMB DEMANDS HERMES COME CLEAN OVER RISK TO COURIERS AND PUBLIC
Forcing couriers who deliver on public highways to work over 13 days consecutively, and in a number of instances more than 12 hours a day, must now be considered a major public safety issue says GMB.
GMB, the union for couriers, has written to Hermes demanding clarification from the company on a number of serious issues over working conditions affecting their couriers during the festive peak period.
Several courier companies, including Hermes, appear to have passed all the risk in terms of employment conditions and working time regulations to individual couriers - with no thought to their safety of that of the general public.
Hermes pressurised couriers to work 13 days consecutively during the festive peak period, it is claimed.
Most couriers worked more than 12 hours each day during December.
Many couriers who wanted a day off say they were either threatened that their services would be terminated, or that their delivery rounds would be cut.
The company belatedly also sent out notices to couriers trying to offer cash incentives of up to £20 for working extra Sundays.
GMB’s letter to Hermes asks a number of searching questions over the company’s arbitrary treatment of Couriers and their service model which is appears to be based on passing employers risks on public safety to individual couriers.
Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:
"GMB is calling on Hermes to come clean over its responsibility as an employer.
“Forcing couriers who deliver on public highways to work over 13 days consecutively, and in a number of instances more than 12 hours a day, must now be considered a major public safety issue.
“Employers such as Hermes believe they have passed all the risk for liability to the individual.
“We are calling on the Government, especially the Department for Transport, to investigate the link between excessive hours and consecutive days working and the increasing threat to public safety to other road users.
“Companies such as Hermes cannot evade their responsibility and pass the risk on to their couriers."
Contact: Mick Rix on 07971 268343 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
 Contact GMB press office for a copy of the letter to Hermes
 GMB is taking a number of cases on behalf of GMB members employed by Hermes regarding their employment status. Hermes currently claims their couriers are self-employed.
GMB disputes that. If Hermes couriers were classed as having worker status the risks that Hermes are playing with their business model and public safety would not be allowed to take place.
Hermes Couriers would be entitled to the same legal protections for working hours, paid holidays, and breaks, as other employed couriers and drivers.