Hermes faces probe over minimum wage claims

hermesRoyal Mail rival Hermes is facing an investigation by the taxman following allegations that some of the delivery company’s drivers receive below the minimum wage.
Business minister Margot James has requested that HMRC look into arrangements used by the firm, following a report by MP Frank Field into complaints from 78 current and former Hermes couriers.
The company maintained it would co-operate with an investigation, but that Frank Field’s claims “do not reflect” the way it operates. Hermes’ HQ is in Hamburg, Germany, with operations also in Austria, Italy, China, Russia and the UK.
Field’s report, which was sent to Prime Minister Theresa May, said Hermes’s practice of employing its drivers as self-employed workers sees many of them “paid an hourly rate that is much lower than the National Living Wage”.
Several couriers said their monthly earnings, after petrol costs, were less than £6.80 an hour, 40p an hour below the National Living Wage.
Field’s report also claimed there was “serious bullying from some of the middle-men and women who manage the operation for Hermes and who seem to be enforcing an employee contract under the cover of self-employment”.
Warwick Business School assistant professor of organisation & HR management Shainaz Firfiray said: “Employers should treat workers with dignity, provide equitable pay and create a good work environment not just because it is the right thing to do but also because it is good for business. In the long run, such treatment is bad not just for employee well-being but also for the bottom line of companies.
“It is critical to address social responsibility issues at employers such as Hermes because every employee regardless of rank deserves to be fairly treated and rewarded.”

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