Delivery company Hermes has opened a £1m (US$1.3m) fund to self-employed couriers who need to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
It follows concerns that self-employed people are not eligible for sick pay, with Hermes saying it will support drivers in finding someone to deliver on their behalf and guarantee that their rounds will be kept open for when they return.
Martijn De Lange, CEO of Hermes UK, said, “This is an extraordinary situation and we have taken the decision to help support our couriers financially if they need help and also ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus. It is simply the right thing to do and I hope that other organizations will follow our lead.”
The move has been welcomed by the GMB Union, with national officer Mick Rix saying Hermes are showing the gig economy how things should be done.
He said, “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.”