Hermes pledges £1 million to help couriers self isolate

GMB has praised courier company Hermes for pledging £1 million to support self-employed drivers if they need to self-isolate as a result of the coronavirus. The company said it will help find someone to deliver on behalf of affected workers and guarantee that their rounds will be kept open for them for when they return. The move follows warnings from unions that a lack of sick pay for the more than 1 million gig economy workers could accelerate the spread of the virus, as workers would face financial difficulties if they did not carry on regardless of the risk to their health or that of others. GMB said the Hermes announcement is the latest win in its battle to protect workers and the British public from COVID-19. It followed NHS contractor ISS announcing all staff would receive full pay in cases of coronavirus self-isolation (Risks 937), with contractor Sodexo following suit shortly after. GMB national officer Mick Rix commented: “Hermes have once again taken the industry lead and shown the gig economy how things should be done. By setting up this fund to assist those couriers they are not just protecting people who deliver for them, they are helping to keep the British public safe.” He added: “This is a very welcome step in the right direction, and all employers across the UK should follow their example.”
GMB news releaseThe GuardianYahoo Finance.

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