The government has asked tax inspectors to consider investigating allegations of low pay by self-employed couriers working for the doorstep delivery company Hermes. The business minister Margot James has requested that HM Revenue and Customs consider launching a “proactive investigation” into the arrangements used by Hermes, which delivers parcels for John Lewis, Next and other retailers using 10,500 self-employed couriers who are paid per parcel. Couriers for the company told a Guardian investigation in July that some are earning levels of pay equivalent to below the £7.20 per hour “national living wage”. Others complained of a lack of job security and some said they felt forced to work through illness and bereavement to keep their rounds.
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