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Hermes refutes low pay claims

Logistics firm Hermes has hit back at media reports that some of its couriers receive less than the national living wage, explaining that it employs a team of people to ensure its pay rates are fair.

In an article published earlier today, The Guardian claimed some self-employed contractors used by Hermes are taking home less than £6 per hour.

But Hermes said its network of 10,500 self-employed couriers receive the equivalent of £9.80 per hour on average, 36% above the government’s living wage of £7.20.

This figure takes into account any expenses the couriers accrue, but does not include any other revenue they earn from other sources, the firm said.

It also does not factor in that couriers claim vehicle insurance, repairs and servicing, fuel, parking, hire charges, vehicle licence fees and breakdown, which are allowable tax expenses.

A spokeswoman 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 Revenue and Customs.”

It continued: “We recognise that pay can fluctuate during the year when parcel volumes vary according to consumer spending patterns. Therefore we use a team of 27 regional planners and a central mapping team to constantly monitor estimated RPHs (rates 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.”

Hermes added that its couriers had received a 2.5% pay rise since the start of the year and the firm will be investing an extra £4m in its network to cover both an additional increase in rates for delivering parcels, as well as performance-related contractual payments.

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