Are your Drivers Properly Employed?
We have recently been consulted by a number of HGV and PSV operators who have engaged drivers on a self-employed basis. Whilst there is nothing wrong with subcontracting work to a driver who holds their own Operator’s Licence and owns their own vehicle, big problems can arise if you engage a supposedly “self-employed” driver to drive one of your own vehicles under your instructions. In those circumstances HMRC will almost certainly take the view that such a driver is, in reality, employed rather than self-employed and should be taxed accordingly.
It does not matter how many different companies such a driver may be engaged by – unless he owns his own truck and has his own O licence, that driver will simply be treated as having more than one employer, with each employer having to meet their own responsibilities with regards to HMRC.
As an operator, you should not be taken in by drivers who have set themselves up as a limited company in order to offer their services driving your vehicles. The view of the HMRC is that they would still be classed as employees.
This is a hot topic with Traffic Commissioners who take the view that operators who inappropriately use self-employed drivers do so in order to obtain an unfair commercial advantage and risk their repute.
At Smith Bowyer Clarke our solicitors and barristers are specialists in Road Transport Law and we have extensive experience assisting operators and drivers. For a free no-obligation consultation call us now on 01332 987420.