The UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has reportedly been ordered by Prime Minister Theresa May to investigate employment practises at delivery company Hermes.
The news was announced by Frank Field, Labour MP and chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, who quotes testimony from Hermes couriers and contractors complaining of mistreatment.
These allegations surface as part of Field’s report on the ‘gig economy’, chronicling supposed abuses of freelancers and contractors in the UK on the basis that they are not technically employees.
According to Field, some Hermes contractors say they have received below minimum wage, while others were threatened with fewer shifts if they took time off for any reason, including one couple who had done so to see their dying son in hospital.
Hermes quotes an average of £9.80 per hour for its contractors, though this may not account for fuel costs. The company has stated that it will cooperate with investigations but that very few couriers have contacted them about it, and they believe the report is inaccurate.
(Source: ITV News)