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RHA busting the myths about self-employed drivers

Jul 22, 2016
The Road Haulage Association has been myth-busting in a campaign to improve compliance with tax law relating to lorry drivers.

Various ploys are being used to give the impression that lorry drivers are ‘self-employed’.  While genuine owner-drivers, who have their own operating licence and haulage business are perfectly legitimate, anyone driving a lorry for another company cannot be self-employed.   .  

“Some firms and drivers know they are breaking the law, others perhaps are less sure,” said RHA Director of Policy Jack Semple. “Various organisations and driver agencies have been promoting schemes that are unlawful. One myth is that you can set up a personal service company and that allows you to be a self-employed lorry driver for other people. It doesn’t. Another myth is that if you drive for several firms, not just one, you can be self-employed. The number of firms you drive for is irrelevant. The rule is that when you drive for another firm, or for a whole series of other firms, you have to be treated as an employee on all occasions.”  

The scams also build up risk for the companies, including agencies, and the drivers breaking the rules. HMRC is tightening tax enforcement and will impose back-tax and penalties on those found to be breaking the law.   

The RHA is supporting HMRC in its enforcement effort. It recently presented on the subject in the House of Commons, at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Freight Transport, and has highlighted the HMRC rules at a series of member briefings around the country. 

Photo: Various ploys are being used to give the impression that lorry drivers are ‘self-employed’.

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