Courier giant Hermes has changed its name and invested millions of pounds in pensions for its employees, the company has announced.
The rebranding of Hermes to Evri comes in the wake of allegations against the company of bad customer service, parcel mishandling and failing to pay its couriers appropriately.
This is everything you need to know.
What has Hermes rebranded as - and why?
Hermes has announced that it has changed its name from Hermes to Evri, complete with a new logo and “brand identity”, according to the company.
The new brand name and logo will be rolled out across all of its locations, vehicles and ParcelShops.
Martijn de Lange, CEO at Evri, said: “This rebrand follows significant investment and two years of dramatic growth which has resulted in our entire business going through a major transformation programme.
“It is more than just a name change – it is a statement of intent of our commitment to leading the way in creating responsible delivery experiences for ‘Evri one’, ‘Evri where’.
“It heralds a new culture and an even better way of doing things in an ever-evolving world – building on our achievements and successes.”
The rebrand comes after an investigation by the Times in December 2021 reported instances of parcels being mishandled, poor customer service and low courier rates.
The undercover reporter wrote: “Hermes drivers are paid for every delivery they complete, plus some additional bonuses.
“After booking my first shifts I was given access to pay rates showing that this could be as little as 36p for postable items and 60p for standard packages.
“It was a race each day to fill my car with boxes, start driving and mark orders off as completed.”
He said that a courier offered him advice for delivering parcels quickly in areas with gated houses: “Best thing to do is just f**king chuck it over the gate.”
One depot manager also told the reporter that “all you can do it act totally stupid” if an angry customer complains.
Hermes said that the claims made in the investigation were “unfounded” and “did not reflect our business”.
How will the rebrand impact customers?
Evri has said that the new brand will see a “significant investment in its customer service as part of its commitment to ensuring that its customer service remains responsive, knowledgeable and helpful”.
Under this commitment, Evri will open a fully UK-based customer service team, as well as adding 200 “experts” who will be based in local depots, closer to where potential issues are likely to arise.
The customer help chatbot will also be getting an upgrade, and more phone lines will also be opened for customers who would prefer to speak directly with someone.
What has the response been like?
The response to the rebrand by customers on social media has been less than enthusiastic, with many indulging in the many inevitable jokes that the new name lends itself to.
One person wrote: “Evri the new name for Hermes is something you would expect a branding team on The Apprentice to come up with. Evri parcel lost, Evri parcel left in the bush, Evri parcel damaged. Didn’t think that one through as they look to leave their past reputation behind.”
Another tweeted: “I see that a certain parcel delivery company is changing its name to Evri. Is that because they guarantee to f**k up Evri order?”
Quote tweeting an article about the name change, another added: “Because they f**k up the delivery Evri time.”
Shaughna Phillips, from season six of Love Island, also tweeted about the rebrand, writing: “Because Evri parcel goes missing? Because Evri day they’re [sic] reputation somehow manages to get worse? Because Evri time I see they’re delivering my parcel, my heart sinks?”
What’s the new employee pension scheme?
One of the first announcements made under the Evri rebrand is the introduction of auto-enrolling self-employed plus (SE+) couriers, who represent 85% of the network, into a pension by the end of 2022.
SE+ couriers will be auto-enrolled into the pension scheme and Evri will contribute 3% of earnings into a pension pot, whilst couriers contribute a minimum of 5% of earnings. Couriers will be able to opt out if they prefer.
Evri describes the move as a “UK logistics industry first” and that it “represents a £7 million plus investment each year in the earnings security of its SE+ couriers”.
Following discussions with the CMG Union, Evri is also set to introduce the right to maternity and paternity leave for all SE+ couriers, effective from March 2022.
Stephen Timms MP, chair of the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee said: “This is a huge step in the right direction and will help thousands of couriers plan for retirement.
“I am delighted to see Hermes provide pensions and parental leave in addition to the holiday pay, guaranteed pay rates and union recognition already available.”
Steve Garelick, GMB Organiser, added: “This breakthrough deal is a massive step forward and will make work better for GMB members.
“Tens of thousands of couriers will now have the safety and security of knowing their retirement plans are being looked after. Meanwhile, the right to maternity and paternity leave will break down barriers previously blocking those with children from entering the profession.
“GMB and Evri (was Hermes) have shown once again that when trade unions and businesses are in agreement, the so-called gig economy can be a better place.”
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