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Hermes couriers forced to take pay rate cut or lose rounds : Rates were being renegotiated to reflect more packages being delivered during lockdown

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Hermes couriers forced to take pay rate cut or lose rounds : Rates were being renegotiated to reflect more packages being delivered during lockdown

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https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/wes ... s-20257131

Lifestyle couriers were told rates were being renegotiated to reflect more packages being delivered during lockdown

West Yorkshire couriers say Hermes have "such a lack of respect" for them after they were informed their pay rate would be cut down.

Hermes couriers have told YorkshireLive that the company has made lifestyle couriers take a reduction in the amount they earn per parcel, meaning they now have to deliver more parcels to earn the same amount.

The couriers were invited to rate review meetings in March, where they were told rates would be discussed "to ensure they fairly reflect both the huge increases in volumes, and courier efficiencies" seen since lockdown began.

At the meetings, couriers were offered lower standard rates per parcel they delivered, and told otherwise someone else would take over their rounds.

One West Yorkshire based courier told YorkshireLive he was offered 71p per parcel rather than the 78p he was on before. He managed to negotiate the rate up to 75p per parcel, but said others have not been so lucky.

"I've had to take a 4% pay cut. I'm having to deliver more parcels now to make up the same money that I would have had otherwise," he said.

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One Hermes courier said he had no choice but to take the rate cut
He added that delivering the extra parcels means he has to work longer hours to make up the same pay. The extra hours mean he no longer gets home in time to pick his children up from school.

The delivery driver said before lockdown he was delivering around 100 parcels a day, which soared to about 350 by the end of 2020, meaning he sometimes had to work 12-hour days, six days a week.

He said: "It's extra work, it's extra time, it's extra mileage. It's a kick in the teeth considering we've had to deliver the extra parcels over lockdown. There hasn't been an option for us to say 'no Hermes I only want 150 parcels a day'. It's been 'you're the round holder, it's your responsibility, and if you don't deliver them all, we'll take the round off you and give it to somebody else'.

"I'm absolutely livid. To have work lumped on you and then to have them say 'we're going to reduce your parcel rate' is just a massive kick in the teeth."

As a lifestyle courier, he said he received no bonus pay for the extra work during lockdown.

Hermes delivered 630 million parcels during 2020, a large increase from the 250 million delivered in 2019.

The Hermes worker said other lifestyle couriers are angry about the rate cuts.

"The overwhelming response is: why are we having rate cuts when we have been delivering our a***s off for the last year? Hermes have made record profits, and we're now getting our rates cut," he said.

"Hermes have decided to increase their profits by reducing my income. They make me work more for less."

In 2013, Hermes' Leeds subsidiary had more than 7,500 lifestyle couriers. According to the Hermes website, the company employs 18,000 self-employed couriers across the UK.


In 2019, Hermes struck a deal with GMB Union, allowing drivers to opt-in to become 'self-employed plus' workers. Couriers who opt in get paid holiday and guaranteed wage rates.

Couriers who chose not to opt-in to the scheme remained as lifestyle couriers, retaining self-employed status and earning "premium rates" according to GMB.

According to an email from GMB Union, rate cuts are not being discussed with self-employed plus couriers. GMB does not negotiate rates for lifestyle couriers, unless a majority request it.

A spokesperson for Hermes said: "As part of regular supplier negotiations, we are continuously reviewing some courier rates to ensure that they are in line with local markets and our fair pay commitments.

"As a result of these negotiations, so far over 15% of couriers have seen their rates increase since the start of the year whereas so far this year less than 1% of couriers have been subject to a proposed decrease. (We estimate that less than 15% will be subject to a proposed rate reduction once the negotiations are concluded with 85% getting an increase or remaining the same.)

"Since the start of the pandemic, we have made significant investments to support growing parcel volumes that have seen average courier earnings increase by up to 40%, with the geographic area of each round made significantly smaller, facilitating quicker and easier deliveries."
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It's good to get these types of threads, the ridiculous my manager said bollox so we can reassure ourselves that while the world is falling apart, Royal Mail managers are still being the low life c***s they have always been.
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