Advice on employing Drivers

I’ve got this saved on my PC for every time this issue comes up, it relates to a self-employed driver being paid a daily or hourly rate to cover work in a van owned by the company he’s subcontracting to:

“The relevant case law is Express and Echo Publications Ltd v Tanton 1999.

The important thing here is the ‘personal service’ test:

Self-employment could only be proved if the driver has a contract expressly giving him the right to supply a substitute driver whenever he wishes. Even then employment could still be proved if the company made it difficult for this to happen or habitually supplied the relief driver themselves.

The safest thing to do is to draw up a contract which actually penalises the driver if he doesn’t supply a relief, even if it’s just £10 a day it would help the case.

Secondly, make sure that occasionally the driver DOES have time off and supplies a relief. Keep a record of the days that he supplies a relief driver.

Be careful not to be too picky about who the driver offers as a relief. You can have a ‘pool’ of relief drivers for the subbies to call upon but you must make it clear that they’re not tied to using them and that any contract for services is between the subbie and the relief driver.

I’m not a lawyer of course so I suggest anyone wanting to do this takes more appropriate legal advice.”

Posted under Employment

Posted by Alec at 5:49 pm, January 10, 2007

1 Comment so far

  1. Alec added on  January 1st, 2007 at 17:55

    I can’t see why it would make any difference who paid for the fuel Fred but certainly if he paid for his own fuel it would go further towards proving self-employment since he stands to make or lose money depending on how he plans his route or drives the van – in other words how he manages his business.

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