In the international CEP industry, working conditions in the last mile are still an important topic. This relates both to fair wages for the couriers and legal regulations to ensure that working times and rest periods are conformable to national law. Within the UK, as well as in Germany, Hermes have hired ombudsmen who can be contacted anonymously by Hermes couriers in case of possible irregularities. Moreover, Hermes is currently setting up a Code of Conduct and further measures to ensure that couriers are paid according to minimum wage. Hermes only accept wages which are at least equal to or more than minimum wage.
In Germany, Hermes premiered with a bunch of regulations in 2011, including a Code of Conduct and a certification program that launched in 2012. For this program, Hermes teamed up with SGS-TÜV Saar, a German certification expert who helped to develop a never-seen-before certification system. This process is mandatory for all service partner collaborating with Hermes in home deliveries. Besides examining aspects such as processing quality and compliance with operational security guidelines, the certification process is paying particular attention to the working conditions of couriers and compliance with labour law regulations.
"The effort between larger enterprises and medium-sized operations in Germany continues to be a success model that secures many jobs. With our Code of Conduct, the ombudsman and the certification process, we are committed to organising an equitable cooperation for everyone concerned. What we are looking to achieve here is the introduction of a management and control system in a logistics chain where all employees can find adequate wages and fair social conditions for their work," explains Frank Rausch, CEO at Hermes Germany.
Following the award of the certificate, tested service partner can use the seal of quality for their own promotional purposes. Partner that are not certified, or whose certification is subject to conditions, have to follow up their work immediately or need to stop working with Hermes. The whole certification process will be repeated at regularly.
Terms of employment and service management
Adequate payment, holiday entitlement, paid sick leave - these aspects and more are what characterise a fair and legally-compliant employment situation. Thus, the company will be asking and checking on professional life at general contractors.
Health and safety
Hermes binds its partners to ensuring the working environment on company premises and in the vehicle fleet is safe. Legal security regulations have to be complied with at all time, regardless of how hectic daily business is.
The public perception of Hermes
Couriers working on behalf of Hermes at our contractual partners perform remarkable work and contact over a million households in Germany every day. They make a major contribution to the public image of Hermes. As a consequence, the certification process will check whether appearance and clothing are appropriate and whether customers can associate these couriers as working on behalf of Hermes.
Quality and reliable handling
The demands on the CEP industry are rising continuously. As a result, we require better trained operators and couriers - and this will be examined as part of the certification process.
Hermes has set clearly defined goals for reducing CO2 emissions and has incorporated these in an internal master plan. We are therefore particularly keen on motivating the partners to set up their own initiatives in matters relating to climate and environmental protection and to promoting such commitment.