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  #1  
Old 04-02-2019, 07:51 AM
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That Hermes agreement

I’ve long argued that zero hours contracts / gig economy, rather than being outright banned (as some on the left argue) or allowed to continue as is (as some on the right argue) should have an employee option for more permanence after a period of time. It appears that at least one company and union have gone about achieving something along those lines.

Good news!

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Old 04-02-2019, 08:38 AM
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Interesting stuff, yes.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:26 AM
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Have I missed something, but surely that is simply making a self employed worker an employee?

I actually think the main issue with zero hours contracts is how some companies take the piss by having people turn up to work as scheduled and then simply sending them home when they arrive as it is decided they are not needed or sent home early from a shift. This is where people suffer as they unable to budget properly as their working week in terms of hours can vary so much, even when their scheduled working hours do not change.

Zero hours contracts can be a good thing and suit both employer and employee, so talk of banning them is plain daft. It is bad employer practice that give it a bad name and it is these bad practices that should be the target of any government legislation.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:30 AM
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It's giving workers options. Not 'making them' do anything afaik.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:41 AM
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Reading between the lines, it is simply Hermes ensuring greater efficiency in terms of delivery times, by being able to impose delivery routes onto a delivery driver. Not a bad thing in itself, but one that they perhaps can best impose by making a self employed person an employee, or at least by giving a carrot to enforce the change. What the article does not state is how the delivery rates vary between being employed and being self employed and therefore how much in real terms the driver is better off. Giving them minimum wage plus paid holiday leave is simply them adhering to legislation.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:05 PM
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The point is it allows the workers the choice. If they want to be employees (self employed plus) then the company wants control over their actions. Which is reasonable. If they want flexibility to remain self employed then they have the flexibility to earn more but the downside is they remain self employed with the risks that that entails.

But the key thing is protection exists if they want it and it is their choice.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:09 PM
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It is a big step forward as the workers will receive some holiday entitlements. The issue though for me is the fact that Hermes will still be expecting not to pay employer NI.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Adlerhorst View Post
The point is it allows the workers the choice. If they want to be employees (self employed plus) then the company wants control over their actions. Which is reasonable. If they want flexibility to remain self employed then they have the flexibility to earn more but the downside is they remain self employed with the risks that that entails.

But the key thing is protection exists if they want it and it is their choice.
Which is fine but really nothing to do with the issues surrounding zero hours contracts whatsoever.

I really struggle to see, (hence my asking in my first post am I missing something?) what is 'groundbreaking' about offering their workforce the option of being self employed or employed. Also time will only tell if they treat both types of employee equally, ie not favouring one over the other when divvying up the workload.

However I do note the article state that 'groundbreaking' is attributed to the GMB so I am wondering what is being missed out in how this being reported.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:39 PM
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Have I missed something, but surely that is simply making a self employed worker an employee?

I actually think the main issue with zero hours contracts is how some companies take the piss by having people turn up to work as scheduled and then simply sending them home when they arrive as it is decided they are not needed or sent home early from a shift. This is where people suffer as they unable to budget properly as their working week in terms of hours can vary so much, even when their scheduled working hours do not change.

Zero hours contracts can be a good thing and suit both employer and employee, so talk of banning them is plain daft. It is bad employer practice that give it a bad name and it is these bad practices that should be the target of any government legislation.
Problem here is that there is massive scope for abuse in how zero hours contracts are worded and implemented, that typically do not suit employees and massively benefit employers. An example in point, some friends of mine are part time employees of a cleaning firm. On a zero hour contract, they get paid for each hour of work they do. This doesn't include travel to or from locations - so for a six hour day, they'll end up paid anything from 3-4 hours.

This is exceptionally problematic where part time employees are also benefit claimants, because its very easy to end up being pushed over the maximum threshold for hours (16) by employers, who if you refuse, will make sure you are pushed down the 'preference list'. In fact you might not even be aware that you cross the threshold.

Which problematically then affects benefits and HMRC tax credits etc. Making people actually worse off for working.

Some jobs suit zero hours, for employees and employers. But for the most part its exploited by employers as a means to profit - But realistically they're few and far between, and even in those cases, employees are likely to be better off with defined contract of hours per month / week etc.

For zero hour contracts to be effective for employee's they need specific regulation or mandatory union enrolment / representation. I haven't actually met anyone on a genuine zero hour contract who benefits from the arrangement in a way that seems specifically different for part time and permanent staff elsewhere.

At the higher end of the scale 'zero hour' contract workers are generally non-existent. With most contractors working a set rate per day or hour, with defined time period of hours and work time.

Last edited by dogstar721; 04-02-2019 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Adlerhorst View Post
The point is it allows the workers the choice. If they want to be employees (self employed plus) then the company wants control over their actions. Which is reasonable. If they want flexibility to remain self employed then they have the flexibility to earn more but the downside is they remain self employed with the risks that that entails.

But the key thing is protection exists if they want it and it is their choice.
I think this is an interesting area, that kind of hides the reality of zero hour contracts, because no one I ever seem to meet who is on zero hour contracts seems to benefit. Most of them seem to be geared towards the interest of the employer - and almost everyone I've met has being employed by a single employer (usually on minimum wage or there about - and not self employed).
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Old 04-02-2019, 02:29 PM
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The issue though for me is the fact that Hermes will still be expecting not to pay employer NI.
Yeah (well actually maybe, need to think as part of the deal they agreed not to appeal the existing case, and there is likely to be cross application of that ruling).

And in any event that position won’t last long given other ch ages that are coming
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Old 04-02-2019, 02:41 PM
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Which is fine but really nothing to do with the issues surrounding zero hours contracts whatsoever.

I really struggle to see, (hence my asking in my first post am I missing something?) what is 'groundbreaking' about offering their workforce the option of being self employed or employed. Also time will only tell if they treat both types of employee equally, ie not favouring one over the other when divvying up the workload.

However I do note the article state that 'groundbreaking' is attributed to the GMB so I am wondering what is being missed out in how this being reported.
if you can apply optionality for “worker” status, you will be able to do it for zero hours. The point of this is the precedent it sets. That optionality can be done.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:11 PM
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if you can apply optionality for “worker” status, you will be able to do it for zero hours. The point of this is the precedent it sets. That optionality can be done.
But what makes that 'groundbreaking' if you give an option as to whether you have the choice of being salaried or self employed?

Also it has nothing to do with the issues over zero hours contracts whatsoever.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:26 PM
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It is a big step forward as the workers will receive some holiday entitlements. The issue though for me is the fact that Hermes will still be expecting not to pay employer NI.
Having recently done the worker test on the HMRC website, given that Hermes are now controlling how the driver can now do the job it becomes a lot harder to answer those questions and get an answer of 'self-employed'.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:33 PM
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Having recently done the worker test on the HMRC website, given that Hermes are now controlling how the driver can now do the job it becomes a lot harder to answer those questions and get an answer of 'self-employed'.
I would have thought impossible.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:39 PM
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Having recently done the worker test on the HMRC website, given that Hermes are now controlling how the driver can now do the job it becomes a lot harder to answer those questions and get an answer of 'self-employed'.
That's precisely what my tax advisers are saying. PAid holidays, hourly rates are difficult enough : but "you must do yoru job like this"?


But one presumes HErmes have done what homework they could.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:40 PM
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Reading between the lines, it is simply Hermes ensuring greater efficiency in terms of delivery times, by being able to impose delivery routes onto a delivery driver. Not a bad thing in itself, but one that they perhaps can best impose by making a self employed person an employee, or at least by giving a carrot to enforce the change. What the article does not state is how the delivery rates vary between being employed and being self employed and therefore how much in real terms the driver is better off. Giving them minimum wage plus paid holiday leave is simply them adhering to legislation.
I work for Hermes self employed,what they will do is reveiw your round
And if you want your holiday pay ,they will just pay you less per parcel to make up your holiday pay
It's just a token gesture
I do a rural round I get £1.00for parcel and 60p for a packet
So a review on that would become 80p/45p
Not worth bothering with plus you won't be able to claim your petrol ect
When I was plastering you could always get a couple of grand back on your tax
Basically paying your holiday
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:44 PM
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But what makes that 'groundbreaking' if you give an option as to whether you have the choice of being salaried or self employed?

Also it has nothing to do with the issues over zero hours contracts whatsoever.
Because an employer has chosen to give employees an option of a fundamental right to workers when it didn’t have to. That has come about because of pressure from court cases and unions, but it wasn’t something they had to do.

Now imagine that same pressure was applied to say, I dunno, requiring employers to grant an option for employees on zero hours contracts for six months to go on fixed hours contracts at the average weekly hours they worked over those six months. The Hermes thing shows that such an approach could be possible.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:02 PM
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Because an employer has chosen to give employees an option of a fundamental right to workers when it didn’t have to. That has come about because of pressure from court cases and unions, but it wasn’t something they had to do.

Now imagine that same pressure was applied to say, I dunno, requiring employers to grant an option for employees on zero hours contracts for six months to go on fixed hours contracts at the average weekly hours they worked over those six months. The Hermes thing shows that such an approach could be possible.
I am unsure how what they have done gives an employee a contracted hours contract, when all they have done is give the worker of being employed (cannot see how holiday pay entitlement can let some one preserve self employed status) or being self employed. Neither guarantees weekly hours. The only the way past average weekly hours come into play is to calculate holiday pay.

The thing with this is that will they favour a particular type of worker over the other because it will be financially beneficial for them doing so?
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:19 PM
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Hopefully some of the drivers will begin to take some pride in their work as opposed to treating my packages with contempt.
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