Company Insurance

A limited company doesn’t need employers’ liability insurance where there is only one employee and that employee owns at least 50% of the company.

Nobody actually ‘needs’ public liability insurance, unlike employers’ liability it isn’t compulsory, but it’s exceptionally foolish not to have it – and that applies as much to owner-drivers as it does companies.

Posted under Employment, Insurance for Couriers

Posted by Alec at 4:36 pm, October 23, 2006

Mobiles – European Roaming

Not quite:
“The UK’s largest mobile phone operator is introducing a new roaming scheme for voice calls in Europe, whereby incoming calls — currently costing 35p per minute — will be free in exchange for a monthly supplement.

Starting immediately with UK customers roaming in Spain, the new tariff is planned to extend to 35 European territories by mid-2007. The supplement will cost £5 per month for individual customers, with small businesses having the option of buying 12 months at £2.50 per month. Outgoing calls, also currently at 35p a minute, will cost 25p per minute.”

Posted under Mobile Phones

Posted by Alec at 1:16 pm, October 23, 2006

Payment Terms Not Agreed

Lynda, sorry to break it to you but your supplier’s in the right here.

If you don’t agree payment terms up front then a debt’s payable on demand. If you have no agreed terms with the supplier then late payment charges and interest are payable after 30 days. A document served by fax or email is as enforceable as one sent by mail or delivered in person. If your supplier AGREES that invoices and PODs may only be delivered by mail than that’s up to them but you can’t impose the requirement retrospectively. Unless you’ve stipulated in advance of forming the contract that a POD is required before payment then the supplier has no obligation to supply one. You could dispute the invoice on the grounds of non-delivery but unless you actually had reason to believe that the goods weren’t delivered it wouldn’t be a valid reason for witholding payment.

This might not be ‘the way we do it’ but it’s the law. We all enter into contracts for services casually on a daily basis without ever full agreeing terms. We can’t really complain when our lack of attention to detail comes back and bites us afterwards.

Maybe we should have a set of T&Cs that all ‘Network’ members are obliged to operate to when trading through the exchange? A lot of fuss maybe but it would stop a lot of misunderstandings.

Posted under Courier and Freight Exchanges, Courier Financial Issues, Late Payment, Uncategorized

Posted by Alec at 4:35 pm, October 20, 2006

Courier Systems – Controller

Weren’t you looking to replace your booking system Nigel? I see they’re doing the ‘new’ Windows version of Controller for £30 a month rental at the moment instead of an upfront purchase price.

It’s still got the nasty DOS screens when it comes to printing invoices and reports off though.

Posted under Accounting Systems, Booking Software

Posted by Alec at 10:07 am, October 19, 2006


None of which will apply to Nigel, since it’s his customer that’s the Operator, not him.

He will of course need to keep his own full records of his employees’ working time to comply with the RTD.

Posted under Drivers' Hours

Posted by Alec at 5:54 pm, October 12, 2006

Mixed Driving Hours

I’d be more concerned about the Road Transport Directive implications. I think (and I’m going from memory – I’ve not even thought about the RTD since I decided it didn’t apply to me) that your drivers would come under RTD regulations even when they were on their ‘non tacho’ week. So they’re only allowed to work an average 48 hour week and only allowed to work a maximum of 60 hours in any week. Unlike the WTD your drivers can’t opt out of the RTD.

This would mean that you’d have to keep an accurate record of all their working hours, breaks and POAs even for the ‘non tacho’ week. Since VOSA can demand access to the records to monitor your RTD compliance then you’d have to make sure that those records also show that you stay absolutely within the UK Domestic Rules while your drivers are driving small vans – 10 hours driving & 11 hours daily duty limit etc.

Posted under Drivers' Hours

Posted by Alec at 11:33 am, October 12, 2006

They HAVE BEAT ME. (Parking Ticket)

Dennis, remind me what happened. You’re allowed to stop on yellow lines anyway if you’re collecting or delivering – you don’t need the say so of a traffic warden. I’m guessing they were Parking Attendants rather than Traffic Wardens (big difference)? Was it just double yellow lines or were there loading restrictions as well (kerb ‘blips’ or stripes).

In some circumstances you’d just be wasting your time and money by carrying on, but in others you’d have a cast-iron case that you’d only win at the last possible stage.

Posted under Parking Tickets, Tolls, Charges & Fines

Posted by Alec at 5:51 pm, October 7, 2006

Age Discrimination Law

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 came into force last Sunday. Has anyone had any proper legal advice on this yet? I know one CX member has just had an investigation launched against him for specifying ‘over 21’ in a job advert for drivers.

There’s a ‘get-out’ in the legislation that allows employers to discriminate if it achieves a ‘legitimate aim’ which apparently means: “Economic factors such as business needs and efficiency. The health, welfare and safety of the individual (including protection of young people or older workers). The particular training requirements of the job.”

You need to be able to show, in writing, why a decision was made to discriminate and have actual hard evidence that supports the decision-making process.

The problem is that there’s no case law on this yet and until there is it will be down to individuals to decide whether knocking a few thousand pounds off an insurance premium is a good enough “business need” to justify discrimination. There doesn’t seem to be much agreement in the legal profession about this either.

Certainly saving a few thousand pounds a year would not be any justification for racial, sex or disability discrimination, so logically one might think the same would hold true for age discrimination, although the laws are worded very differently.

Posted under Employment

Posted by Alec at 5:26 pm, October 5, 2006