V8 State of Mind

Fancy being a self-employed driver? Watch out for the manure...

Fancy being a self-employed driver? Watch out for the manure...


There's more than a few good reasons to strike out on your own.


And if you're taking that step, it's wise to seek out all the advice and support that you can.


When it comes to self-employment advice, however, it takes a wise man indeed to be able to pick out the gems from the duds.


The RHA's published a warning for drivers who are thinking about working for themselves. It appears that quite a few driving agencies and other companies have been providing inaccurate and, at times, totally false information to HGV drivers enquiring about employment status.


The situation was so bad, in fact, that HMRC stepped in. The organisation's taken legal action against several of the aforementioned agencies.


The schemes sold by these agencies were 'very aggressive', according to the RHA, and would often exclude information about essential aspects of tax legislation, such as NI contributions.


RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett, said:

"In this industry, it is rare for someone to be genuinely self-employed, unless they are an owner-driver. However, whether someone is employed or self-employed is not a matter of choice, but is determined by the particular terms and conditions under which a person works."



What's classed as self-employed?



Well, Mr. Burnett continued:

"Broadly speaking, someone is self-employed if they are in business on their own account and bear the responsibility for the success or failure of that business. They will be employed if they personally work under the control of their engager, and do not run the risks of having a business themselves".



Becoming a self-employed driver - is it worth the hassle?


Probably the most compelling reasons why drivers become owner-drivers would be:

  • Having the freedom to establish your own hours;
  • Being able to control your financial direction;
  • Building your career as you see fit.


No more TM looking over your shoulder, no more writing incident notes for the transport office. To employed drivers, this seems like a pretty sweet deal. And in many ways it can be.


It's vital, however, that you seek the proper guidance, and keep up with the legislation.


That's all well and good, you're saying, but with road haulage the way it is, and with the major changes pegged for this year - we still have more questions than we do answers. Questions such as:

  • Wouldn't it be daft to take the risk of self-employment in this uncertain climate?
  • How do I pick out the genuine advice from the false?
  • Why read up on operator compliance now, when in a few months' time it's all going to change?


 They are legitimate concerns - with Earned Recognition set to shake things up in April of this year, many drivers, owner-drivers, and operators are wondering if it's worth remaining in the industry at all.


 It's true: Earned Rec will change compliance, and if you're thinking about self-employment, it'd be very wise indeed to get clued up on the matter but quick.


Hopefully, we can take care of a few doubts and concerns. Our Earned Recognition webinar will give you the facts in plain English. Knowing what to expect is half of the work:

 DVSA ER Webinar Registration



Picture of Rex Grainger
Written by Rex Grainger

Chronicling life behind the V8; off the analogue, on the RTD and very vroom-vroom...

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