The Road Haulage Association (RHA) and those representing the producers and distributors of essential supplies have written to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stressing the need for action on the crippling effects of the current HGV driver shortage.
They says that as the summer holidays draw near and lockdown restrictions relax, the pressure that will be put on the industry responsible for keeping shelves full will increase and the producers of goods will be faced with having stock of goods they canít get moved.
Empty shelves are already becoming apparent and, if not urgently addressed, the situation will only get worse.
The industry estimated there was a shortage in excess of 60,000 prior to Covid. At that time UK road transport businesses employed approximately 600,000 HGV drivers, including 60,000 from EU member states who were residing and working in the UK.
The letter to the PM explained that several factors have exacerbated the shortage which is now at crisis point - over 100,000 drivers - and critical supply chains are failing.
The factors which have had an adverse affect according to the sector include Covid, EU exit, retiring drivers, test shortages and IR35.
On IR35, the letter to the PM said:
"The introduction of IR35 has resulted in agency labour withdrawing their services as low-profit margin logistics businesses (typically 2-3 per cent) cannot sustain demands for £5-£6 per hour rate increases. For clarity, we welcome legislation that ensures fair and equal tax for all. However, Government must now recognise the repercussions of this and the other issues mentioned and urgently intervene to help us to resolve the resulting crisis."
Further IR35 information
For more information about all aspects of IR35, including other controversial employment status cases, see Shout99's News on IR35 section.
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2021