Hermes rejects Guardian living wage claims

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Hermes has rejected claims by “The Guardian” newspaper that it is paying some of its couriers below the national living wage.

Hermes rejects Guardian living wage claimsThe parcel company said the article “focused on the fact that a small number of couriers receive less than the living wage” and that it felt this was “disingenuous”.

Hermes said that its records prove on average its network of 10,500 self-employed couriers receive the equivalent of £9.80 per hour. It said that this figure includes expenses, but not revenue that Hermes couriers earn elsewhere or vehicle insurance, repairs, fuel, parking, hire charges, vehicle licence fees and break down.

“The Guardian” said that a number of self-employed Hermes courier’s said that they had been paid less than the living wage. One courier said they were paid £5.90 an hour during a two-week period. Another said they were paid £6.70 an hour.

The company said that it recognises pay can fluctuate throughout the year when parcel volumes vary – and so it uses a team of 27 regional planners and a central mapping tem to ‘constantly monitor estimated RPHs (rate per hour) and ensure that if couriers drop below £7.20 this is addressed within 24 hours, either by re-structuring the rounds to be more efficient or by increasing the parcel rates.’

A spokesperson for the courier business said: “Since the introduction of the National Living Wage in April 2016 we have been working hard to ensure that couriers get equal to or above the living wage threshold. This is despite the fact that there is no legal requirement for us to do so as they are self employed, a status that has been approved by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.”

Hermes said that it had given all couriers a 2.5 per cent pay rise this year, and that it will be investing £4million to cover additional increase in rates for delivery of parcels and performance-related contractual payments.

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