Drivers making sure you get it right – employed or self-employed

Self employed drivers within the haulage industry are normally owner drivers and not drivers without a vehicle.  It is unusual,  but it does happen, like Jonathan in Total Compliance is now.

Jonathan is an external transport manager, ALLMI trainer, FORS auditor, CPC trainer, DGSA etc…..but he is also a Class 1 driver and still goes out about once a month driving to keep his hand in on the driving.  He also really enjoys it and has found it great to have this opportunity with an operator.

For some people that do not have their own business though, the way that some drivers are employed in the haulage industry continues to cause problems for operators.

The Traffic Commissioners Office sent out this example. A business recently advertised for a new driver and received 31 applications.

29 of these were from limited companies, which had been set up by drivers.

HMRC believe that some employers are wrongly treating workers as self-employed or hiring them through their own companies.

These practices don’t comply with tax laws and lead to unfair competition between operators.

Many companies do not know the rules relating to employment and self-employment in the industry and so have to be careful.  There was a good example of this with Pimlico Plumbers when they lost a case for which they had been paying sub-contractors as self-employed and the ruling stated that they all had employment rights such as holiday and sickness pay.  Read more about that here:

HMRC has issued detailed guidance on employment status, and if you need any guidance, we can help you but use the following to begin with:

In general, someone is self-employed if they’re:

  • in business on their own account
  • bear the responsibility for the success or failure of that business

They’re employed if they:

  • personally work under the control of their engager
  • do not run the risks of having the business themselves

If you need any clarification on this issue, we can be of assistance to you so please contact us at or through the contact page on our website

Leave a Comment