RHA wants the Government to take immediate actions to come up with solutions to driver shortages. This has gotten worse since the 1R35 tax changes. It has been noticed that pallet firms are extending next-day delivery to five days. IR35 can be called another name for off-payroll working rules. It has been made to determine if a contractor is legit or a disguised employee for paying tax.
The entire situation has been quite hard, even way before the pandemic took place with loads of EU truckers that were leaving work and going home for reasons related to Brexit. Another thing that made the entire situation worse is the failure to carry out HGV tests across the UK during the lockdown. This ultimately led to a backlog of loads of tests, and many drivers were sidelined as well. Moreover, due to COVID-19, the introduction of IR35 was delayed by one year; however, it’s not causing trouble to many firms as well as drivers.
Spokesperson from HGVT, HGV driver training provider in London said “We have been pushing to get test dates since last year but due to the strict gov rules, DVLA had suspended all dates. This added to more backlogs and will take time to clear them before new drivers can start. Our representative in RHA have asked DVLA to put more centres up on the map for testing to ease the pressure.”
What Did RHA Demand?
Everyone hates pay cuts, and this resulted in driver quitting their jobs. This increased the driver shortage even more. This is where RHA took a step and asked the Government to clear the backlog of driver tests. They want the Government to make the testing of vocational drivers their top priority.
Apart from this, the firm also added saying that RHA’s programs such as Road to Logistics recruitment and other programs such as KickStart are crucial to cope with the industry’s driver shortage. There are loads of people who want to work as lorry drivers; however, this is where the test delays make it hard for individuals to obtain their HGV licenses.
The RHA also wants the Government to put lorry drivers on the occupation shortage list. They want EU as well as foreign drivers to fill Rota gaps. Moreover, there is a massive shortage of drivers in the EU as well.
Furthermore, they made a statement that they paid £500m into the Levy however got back £50m. This is a highly unfair payout for this industry where there a staff shortage. They are also demanding more funds to pay for lorry training.
RHA stated that driver facilities are a must. No one will join if there are no driver facilities such as completely safe and secure parking exits, toilets, wash facilities, and others. Moreover, they added saying that increasing driver hours is not going to help with the situation at all. This solution does not certainly deal with any underlying problems. There need to be other alternatives to fix the entire industry.
What Did The RHA Policy Managing Director Say About The Entire Situation?
Rod McKenzie, who is RHA policy managing director, has been noted saying that if the industry’s voice will not be heard; there will be intense supply chain disruption that will be hard to control. This will eventually lead to impacting many businesses out there trying to recover from the pandemic. The entire situation needs to be dealt with as there is not enough time. Action needs to be taken now.