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Hermes rejects union's public safety claims

05 February 2018

The courier has rejected allegations from the union GMB that courier working conditions could put public safety at risk.

In a statement Hermes said: "We can confirm that we have received a letter from the GMB which raises the same questions and allegations that were answered in full in October 2017. To reiterate:

"It is entirely unfounded and totally irresponsible to suggest that Hermes would require or encourage couriers to put themselves or the public at risk.

"We can confirm that no couriers were expected to work 13 consecutive days over the festive period. 

"In fact, no courier was expected to work longer hours, more days or handle bigger volumes – and there was absolutely no penalty for choosing not to do so.

"Additional sourcing and round planning for peak meant that no courier was expected to spend more than 5-7 hours delivering parcels on any given day."

GMB, the union for couriers, had written to Hermes demanding clarification from the company on a number of allegations over working conditions affecting their couriers during the festive peak period. 

The union says several courier companies, including Hermes, appear to have passed all the risk in terms of employment conditions and working time regulations to individual couriers - with no thought to their safety of that of the general public.

GMB says: "Hermes pressurised couriers to work 13 days consecutively during the festive peak period, it is claimed. 

"Most couriers worked more than 12 hours each day during December.

"Many couriers who wanted a day off say they were either threatened that their services would be terminated, or that their delivery rounds would be cut.

"The company belatedly also sent out notices to couriers trying to offer cash incentives of up to £20 for working extra Sundays."

GMB’s letter to Hermes asks a number of searching questions over the company’s arbitrary treatment of Couriers and their service model which is appears to be based on passing employers risks on public safety to individual couriers.