Under its new “self-employed plus” status, Hermes workers can opt to receive up to 28 days of paid leave. They can also choose pay rates of at least £8.50 an hour over the year – more than the minimum wage of £7.83 an hour, which rises to £8.21 in April.

However, an employment expert raised questions about the tax implications.

CEO Julian Pilling said: “The deal struck between Hermes and the GMP union is an interesting development, demonstrating that large employers are being strong-armed by Unions. Employers have, at long last, found a much needed alternative ‘hybrid’ employment solution for workers who began working as ‘self employed.’

Read Julian’s comments in Business Matters