Two of the most important things as a sub-contracted Courier driver to know, is what your work contract involves, and how your pay is calculated.
Standard form contracts
For a sub-contractor, the hirer (the company you will be contracted to) will generally offer you a ‘standard form’ contract—a pre-prepared contract where most of the terms are set in advance, with little or no room for negotiation between the parties.
If you don’t understand any of the terms and conditions, including the fine print, you should get legal advice.
Each courier company will have differing terms and conditions, so be sure to read them in depth because once you sign a contract, you are bound by all of its terms.
Among the things you should clarify in your contract with the hirer is the nature of the work, including the estimated hours you will receive in work per week, and how your pay will be calculated.
Hirers tend to pay either a drop rate (based on the number of stops or delivery points on a given run) or an hourly rate, depending on the nature of the delivery run.
Because you work for the hirer, who is contracted by the end client, you will have no input to the rate agreed upon in the contract.
Rather, you will be told what the rate is and will then have to decide whether it is sufficient to cover your expenses and provide you with a reasonable income.
If you’re just starting out, talk to people in the industry to get an idea of the rate you should expect.
Be aware that, when starting out with a courier company, you may only be given irregular point-to-point, or ‘ad hoc’, runs until you prove yourself.
This means your income will be unreliable for a month or two, so you should make sure you have enough working capital to tide you over until your income stream becomes steady.
We highly recommend getting legal advice if you don’t understand any of sections of your work contract. Seeing as it will affect your job security, pay rate and overall happiness at work, it is best to be sure you are getting the best deal.