Belfast Telegraph

Delivery firm Hermes 'failing to make sure drivers are properly insured'

Drivers at delivery firm Hermes are at risk of working without insurance because the firm is "dodging" its responsibility, a leading union is claiming.

The GMB has raised concerns over the company's practices with the Association of British Insurers.

The union accused Hermes of failing to ensure drivers have informed their insurance companies that they are using their vehicle for businesses purposes.

Drivers who have failed to notify their insurer are likely to find their insurance is void, according to the union.

National officer Mick Rix said: "Hermes are deliberately dodging their responsibility to make sure their drivers are properly insured for business purposes, and are in fact knowingly misleading hard-working Hermes drivers into thinking they have proper cover.

"GMB has serious concerns that Hermes is putting their drivers and the public at serious risk by cutting corners in the interests of profit.

"GMB is calling on the Association of British Insurers to lend their voice to ensure that Hermes behaves responsibly."

Hermes said it "categorically refuted" the allegations.

A statement said: "We have been in contact with the ABI today and satisfied their inquiries.

"Every courier that delivers for Hermes is required to have insurance for their vehicles and, where this does not include 'commercial use', they are covered by our group scheme.

"This is charged for at 55p a day but only for the days that service is provided on behalf of Hermes. Hermes does not profit from this.

"The group scheme is for third party insurance, in respect of use of the vehicles on Hermes business, and satisfies legal requirements for motor insurance.

"Couriers are also free to make their own commercial insurance arrangements and/or opt out of the group scheme if they are already covered, are providing service for other courier companies or wish to have fully comprehensive cover.

"This is made extremely clear when couriers start to provide services for Hermes and copies of all insurance documents are checked.

"Hermes is committed to industry-leading standards of health and safety and these processes have been put in place to ensure the legal protection of the self-employed couriers that provide services to Hermes."