Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist has announced it is to make a £1 million pound fund available for its self- employed couriers, to help support them if they need to self-isolate as a result of the coronavirus. It follows concerns about their welfare as self-employed people are not eligible for sick pay.

Hermes will also support them in finding someone to deliver on their behalf if they do not have a substitute and guarantee that their rounds will be kept open for them for when they return. This initiative is supported by the GMB Union.  

Martijn De Lange, CEO at Hermes UK, said: “This is an extraordinary situation and we have taken the decision to help support our couriers financially if they need help and also ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus. It is simply the right thing to do and I hope that other organisations will follow our lead.”

Hermes is at the forefront of supporting rights for the self-employed as demonstrated by its introduction of the ‘Self-Employed Plus’ (SE+) option, which attracts a number of benefits such as holiday pay and is the first of its kind in any sector.  The deal is backed by the GMB Trade Union under a partnership agreement which saw Hermes provide recognition of the GMB’s representation of any of its circa 15,000 self-employed couriers that choose to join the Union. 

By Alison