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HMRC sends letters to workers in gig economy crackdown

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Drivers of delivery company Hermes have been sent letters from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) asking them to provide evidence of their employment status, it has been reported.

The move indicates that HMRC is stepping up its investigation to correctly classify workers operating in the “gig economy”.

According to The Guardian, the letter requests that drivers disclose information such as their written contract and payslips and agree to a one-hour interview.

“This will help us decide what your employment status is/was,” the letter reportedly says.

The Guardian previously found that some Hermes workers were earning less than the Government’s National Minimum Wage.

Trade union GMB also sharpened their sights on Hermes in recent weeks, vowing to battle “bogus self-employment and gig economy exploitation”.

Maria Ludkin, the GMB’s legal director, said: “Under the false claims of ‘flexibility’, Hermes seems to think it’s acceptable to wriggle out of treating its workers with respect.

“Guaranteed hours, sick pay, pension contributions – these aren’t privileges to be bestowed when companies feel like it; they are the legal right of all UK workers.

“It’s good to hear that HMRC are finally taking their enforcement responsibilities seriously and are investigating Hermes.”

GMB issued an employment rights lawsuit again the courier this week.