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GMB union launches gig economy legal case against Hermes

Gavel and scales of justice

GMB union today started its latest 'gig economy' case in the courts, this time on behalf of eight Hermes couriers.

The legal action, which follows GMB’s success against Uber, is on behalf of couriers who believe they are being denised basic workers' rights by being forced to declare as self-employed.

If the case is successful, the company could be forced to change the way it treats all of its drivers.

This is the latest in a string of cases brought by GMB on behalf of members to tackle bogus self-employment and gig economy exploitation.

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, 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."

In October 2016, GMB won a victory against Uber where a similar Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers should have 'worker' status and the rights that go with it. That landmark case could have major implications for more than 30,000 drivers across England and Wales. Uber is currently appealing the decision.

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