Monday, April 30, 2018

Fighting the Gig Employers

The delivery company Hermes which delivers packages for retailers such as Next, Asos, John Lewis, Topshop and River Island, faces a legal battle with a group of its own drivers today, in the latest case promising to have major ramifications on labour rights in the growing gig economy.

The drivers claim they are being denied basic workers’ rights by being forced to declare as self-employed, meaning they are not entitled to holiday pay or to be paid the legal minimum hourly rate under the national living wage.

Tim Roache, the general secretary of the GMB union, which has been involved in bringing the Hermes claim, said: “GMB’s courier members do a tough job – working long hours with unrealistic targets. They make a fortune for companies like Hermes, the least they should be able to expect in return is the minimum wage and their hard-fought rights at work.Companies like Hermes and Uber hide behind terms like ‘flexibility’ to wriggle out of treating the people who make them their money with the respect they deserve.  Guaranteed hours, holiday pay, sick pay, pension contributions are not privileges companies can dish out when they fancy. They are the legal right of all UK workers and that’s what we’re asking the courts to rule on.”

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