There is no getting away from reality, the Logistic sector has been hit and hit hard by a driver shortage. Whether you have noticed bare shelves in the supermarket or have had to wait for deliveries. Everyone is being affected by the current situation.
How did this happen?
So, what has caused the current shortage? Brexit? Covid? Government policies? IR35? Pay? The answer probably lies across all the reasons stated with a few extra to boot! Where are we now? There is according to industry findings – see below – a shortage which is around about 100,000 drivers in the UK. Before the Covid Crisis this was estimated at around 60,000.
The government has started to act after pressure from the industry in recent weeks with the extension of driver hours. Not many in the sector agree with the change and it has been met with disdain by haulage members as nothing more than a plaster on the problem.
But there are two sides to the shortage, whilst the blue-chip companies can throw money at the problem and send wages soaring your local transport companies are in a bit of a tighter fix. These companies are facing ever increasing pressure to cut cost whilst dealing with higher pay issues.
The change to IR35 has clearly influenced the rate increases and this leads us to how agencies are dealing with the extra pay. Most have reverted to PAYE with some still using Umbrella companies in some form or other. Some have started to use rolled up holiday pay, whilst this makes the wage seem higher it is still smoke and mirrors. Velocity only pays PAYE and still prefers to separate holiday pay. This is to show a clear distinction between what the driver earns and what they are entitled to for leave.
Whatever the outcome of any Government review on this shortage, it’s not going to be a quick solution. We do need the industry to work closely with the Government. But let’s not forget the actual workers across the sector in all this, they need a voice as well.
The only way to truly attract more drivers is to make it a sector which values and supports those who work in it.
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