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Union taking courier service Hermes to tribunal to challenges workers' status

PUBLISHED: 08:45 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:55 30 April 2018

GMB union general secretary Tim Roache, as GMB is taking an employment tribunal case against courier firm Hermes in another challenge to the status of workers in the so-called gig economy. Picture: GMB/PA

GMB union general secretary Tim Roache, as GMB is taking an employment tribunal case against courier firm Hermes in another challenge to the status of workers in the so-called gig economy. Picture: GMB/PA

A union is taking an employment tribunal case against courier firm Hermes in another challenge to the status of workers in the so-called gig economy.

The GMB action is on behalf of eight Hermes couriers who believe they are being denied basic workers’ rights by being forced to declare as self-employed.

The drivers say they are described as “lifestyle couriers” and are not entitled to rights such as holiday pay or the national living wage.

It is the latest in a string of cases brought by the GMB which the union says is tackling “bogus” self-employment.

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.”

He added: “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.”

The case is due to open in Leeds on Monday.

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