Haulage industry braced for increase in driver wages

There are calls for HGV bosses to up driver’s wages as the government announces an increase to the National Living Wage by nearly 10% in a few weeks’ time. 

SNAP recently said the industry is experiencing a ‘tipping point’ with a lack of drivers to keep up with increased demand and noted the biggest reason for the lack of drivers is due to poor salaries.  

The average truck driver salary in the UK is currently £15.47 an hour and if this was increased in line with the National Living Wage increase to £17.28 an hour, it would see industry bosses needing to fork out an extra £1.5 billion a year in wages. 

The new increase could however be offset, which will come as a relief to HGV bosses. If driver wages increase, the retention rate is likely to increase and thus avoid businesses the extra costs for recruitment and training, etc. 

Getting new drivers into the industry is especially crucial given that over half (55%) of existing employees are aged between 50-64, with the UK average being 53, meaning many truckers will be heading towards retirement in the next decade.  

“There has long been the challenge of retaining HGV drivers in the UK, and when you combine this with the challenges faced by Brexit and an increase in demand for delivery services since the pandemic, the industry naturally becomes unsustainable,” said Myra McPartlin, head of commercial at SNAP. 

HGV drivers are now also getting a financial boost as the government has decreased National Insurance, meaning that on average drivers will save over £900 a year in taxes.

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