ESG: Social

Promoting equality and fairness

People on map of UK
man with target board

Key targets

  • By 2022 we will be reporting on the ethnicity pay gap, and will introduce reverse mentoring into the senior management team
  • To double our charitable giving investment
courier with phone and app open


  • We have updated our code of conduct, which is given to all employees, suppliers and couriers. 
  • We are about to launch a dedicated courier app to engage more with couriers while offering them an enhanced suite of rewards and benefits 

As an ethical business, we’re passionate about people – our own, and those in the wider communities we serve.

couriers with parcels


We have a network of 33,000+ lifestyle couriers offering home delivery to 100% of the UK population. They provide safe, contact-free delivery with photo proof where possible; local expertise; and are able to customise their delivery rounds, which can be as big or small as they like to fit in with other commitments.

We were the first delivery company to announce a fund (£1 million) to support self-employed couriers who had to self-isolate, and we invested £10 million in PPE for operations staff who work in our hubs and depots. Our enhanced self-employed model for couriers, SE+, flourished in 2020-21. Around 70% of couriers are now on SE+ contracts and benefiting from guaranteed paid rates, paid holiday and GMB Union representation. More than three-quarters of our SE+ couriers report their health and wellbeing has improved. 

couriers with parcels

Employee wellbeing

Nearly one in seven people experience mental health problems in the workplace. Studies show a 50% increase of people struggling with their mental health more recently during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hermes wants to remove the stigma attached to mental health and ensure it’s treated as equally as physical health. Our commitment is to create a workplace culture where everyone feels appreciated, is treated fairly, and has access to the support and resources they require. 

As part of a range of initiatives launched in 2021, we’re upskilling managers to be aware of signs and symptoms of mental health issues, and to give them the confidence to support employees. 

We’ve also invested in training 40 Mental Health Ambassadors. Our MHAs come from every area of the business and are qualified (certified by Mental Health First Aid England) to listen non-judgementally, provide support and signpost people to relevant services. We’re currently doubling the number of MHAs as we go into 2022.

couriers with parcels

Diversity, inclusion and gender pay gap

To help us build a clear picture of our people data, we’ve set up a diversity and inclusion network – a group of like-minded people who want to make a difference, inform and educate people, and ensure we’re doing all we can to make Hermes an inclusive place to work. We’ve also launched dedicated Pride and race networks, which are open to all employees to join. 

We’re committed to eliminating barriers that prevent people from developing their full potential. We began reporting gender pay gap in 2017 and are continuing to implement initiatives to further reduce this. Currently, women occupy 27% of the highest paid jobs at Hermes. When comparing mean hourly wages and median bonus pay, women earn more than men in both areas. We’ll be reporting on the ethnicity pay gap in 2022.

couriers with parcels


We’re pledging more than £200,000 of our apprenticeship levy funds to help support SMEs. As we move out of the pandemic, this will allow companies who need a boost to take on new apprenticeships or train existing ones. We’ve done this in conjunction with Leeds City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority and Total People, a major provider of work-based learning in the Northwest of England.

We have also launched a 12-month apprenticeship scheme to address the national LGV driver shortage. Non-driving based employees from the business are given a day off a week to train for a Cat C licence. Qualified candidates are then able to interview for an LGV driver position within the company. So far, 45 people have got involved.

man in emmaus shop

Charity work

In 2020 Hermes became a high-profile corporate partner for national homeless charity Emmaus, which supports people to work their way out of homelessness, providing meaningful work, training and a stable home. As well as via financial channels, we’re looking to support by offering work experience, placements and workshops.

Elsewhere, we continue to support children’s charity Go Beyond and, earlier this year, we partnered with charity BookTrust and The Sun on Sunday to help deliver books to children during lockdown. In 2020-21 our total donation to charities was £100,000.

We’re also delighted to be involved with the Gratitude project, a public art installation based in four UK locations that honours the work and courage of NHS staff and key workers during the pandemic.