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Employ and IR35

The biggest challenge to logistics today is an HGV driver shortage which is in excess of 50,000 and is set to increase.
Many factors have contributed to the driver shortage and include:

  • an ageing workforce with more drivers retiring
  • barriers to entry as no testing for 12 months has resulted in a loss of 16,00 new passes
  • cost of licence acquisition against pay rates, less attractive as job choice
  • insurance requirements
  • Covid-19 disruption
  • Brexit issues
  • IR35 impact
  • suppressed pay rates combined with IR35, is forcing some Ltd workers to seek higher pay in other countries.

The driver shortage means that it is vital that organisations look at temporary and permanent offerings to avoid disruption to business continuity. A collective approach to improve offerings to drivers, will secure shift coverage for the next 12 months.

Employ Recruitment deliver an excellent service, driven by our company values: insightful, accountable and solution focused.

Our shift coverage sits at 99.6% and although we are proud of this figure, we still strive for 100%. Employ’s successful track record is underpinned by our working strategy which includes that we:

  • develop KPIs to fit client business needs
  • establish joint goals to meet company strategy
  • provide 100% accurate forecasting and planning
  • provide 100% accurate billing
  • utilise national leading driver recruitment software
  • utilise real time accident management software
  • use driver profiling to assign the most suitable drivers
  • provide driver CPC training (which we have adapted to online access due to restrictions)
  • remain committed to compliance, (50%of our workforce are Transport management trained)
  • maintain high standards throughout; we are affiliated with Driver Agency Excellence, Logistics UK, REC, East Midlands Chamber and TEAM.

In order to understand how Employ wishes to secure shift coverage for clients whilst withstanding the driver shortage pressures detailed earlier, we have carried out a Sector Pay Analysis for HGV Drivers March 2021

The table below shows pay rates for low, average and high for March 2021, including weekday and weekends shifts.

Average £12.72£14.17£14.28£15.00£15.24£15.81


Pay rates that fall below average will be a barrier to attracting drivers and in order to avoid disruption to business continuity, the need to review it collectively is crucial.

The impact of IR35 to the haulage sector means that agencies are now responsible for tax and National Insurance deductions for limited company contractors, as well as having to make Employers National Insurance Contributions (13.8%) and pay an apprenticeship levy (0.5%).

It has become customer practise for Limited company contractors to receive enhanced rates of pay, typically £1.50 per hour, but the impact of tax deductions means these workers also face a reduction in pay, which seriously affects their take home pay. To ensure that Employ Recruitment, in partnership with their clients, continue to retain and attract new drivers, as well as to maintain commercial viability, there has to be an increase of 20% to client charge rates.

Recruitment agencies are the messenger and are unlikely to see any increase in profits as a result of the 20% rise; this increase will be passed to the HMRC.


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