fines and insurance

Discussion in 'Legal' started by matt90bc, Sep 1, 2017.

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  1. matt90bc

    matt90bc UKBF Newcomer

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    I've been working as a delivery driver on a self employed base's for 18 months for a very large company but am unsure about some of their practices.
    we work on a zero hour contract only being offered work the day before but have to inform if we are available to work 2 weeks in advance. Even though we are self employed we are still required to wear uniform and fill out log books.
    If we miss work for whatever reason be it illness or oversleeping we are fined without an appeal of between £50-£200 plus loosing the days wage.
    Up until recently if something we were delivering got damaged we would be deducted the full amount of the product without appeal but the company would still keep the product to be sold on as damaged goods. We are now instead being deducted £25 a week from our wages whether we've worked 1 day or 7 to cover any damages we may cause be it to the product or the vans which are also something we would get fined for from a small scratch to broken mirror which is very hard to avoid while driving 3.5t van all over the country.
    Other than being fined for not turning up to work once as I was ill and in no fit state to be in control of a vehicle I have not occurred any damages yet I'm being charged £25 a week as insurance which from what I have heard through the grape vine is so the company can pay off the damages of other drivers who have left with outstanding fines that we are now having to cover without choice!
    As I said we are self employed so surely we should be getting given some kind of documents as proof of this insurance to offset against our tax.
    None of this was agreed in our contacts I may add and the few people who have challenged it has had their hours cut dramatically and being a close to minimum wage job anyway have had to leave as unless you're being given 6 days a week minimum hopefully which will get you 70+ hours doing about 12 hour days its just not worth it.
    If theres anyone that can make sense of this rant and might give me some guidance or advice without the obvious of finding a new job it'd be much appreciated!
    Posted: Sep 1, 2017 By: matt90bc Member since: Oct 8, 2014
  2. Mr D

    Mr D Contributor

    28,439 3,518
    If a zero work contract are you self employed? Sounds like you are at least a worker.
    Besides that find somewhere else to work.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2017 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  3. Gecko001

    Gecko001 Contributor

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    Firstly fines or pure penalties are not valid in a contract. They are commonly referred to as fines or penalty clauses in contracts but they are actually damages that are being claimed. The amount of damages can be no more than the cost incurred by the side claiming the damages. If they are more then the extra bit is considered a penalty in law and thus not valid.

    Secondly, it appears that you are in employment rather than self-employed since you only work for the one company (I assume), but in saying that HMRC rarely inforce their rules regarding this matter.
    Posted: Sep 2, 2017 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
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