If you’re an independent support worker, there will be times that your client may ask you to provide them with transport. For support workers who would like to include transport within their suite of services, there are often a number of questions. Here, we’ve addressed some of those questions we’re most frequently asked.
Many independent support workers on the Mable platform are looking for ways to expand their skills and find more clients. But offering transport to clients as part of your role as a support worker could be one simple way to reach more clients, with skills that you already have.
What do I need to provide transport services?
In addition to a police check, ABN and relevant references that are required to be approved as an independent support worker, you will need to provide a valid Australian driver’s license. In most cases, you will also need to have your own vehicle. Mable is a platform that connects independent workers directly with clients. As an independent worker, any vehicle that you use for the purposes of providing services to clients is your own responsibility. As you are running your own business, if you choose to provide transport to clients, you may be able to claim some costs of your vehicle as a tax deduction. We recommend you speak with your accountant directly about this.
Can I use my client’s car to provide them with transport?
Essentially this is up to you and your client to decide and make any necessary arrangements. Many independent support workers who work with clients on an ongoing basis and regularly use their client’s car would ask to be added as a driver under their client’s car insurance. Again, these are arrangements that you will need to discuss directly with your client – and that you both will need to be comfortable with.
How is this covered under Mable’s insurances?
For any shift that’s delivered and paid for via Mable, you will be covered by insurances arranged on your behalf. This coverage includes Public Liability, Personal Accident cover and Professional Indemnity for claims arising from the performance of your duties. If you intend to use your own vehicle to provide transport services, you will need to have your own separate insurance for your vehicle. If you would like more information on insurance via Mable, you can find it here.
Can I charge more for providing transport?
Many independent workers who provide transport to clients as part of their services will decide to charge more for those shifts where transport is included. Currently, the best way to do this is to discuss with your client how much transport will be required, consider your own expenses in performing the services, and incorporate it into your hourly rate.
What about travel time?
While technically not really about offering transport, this is a question we see come up a lot, so we’ve decided to address it. How do you account for the travel to a client appointment, particularly if you’re coming a long way for a short shift? Try to also factor this travel time into your rate and discuss it with your client upfront. Most clients will be understanding, especially in areas of high demand.
On the whole, it’s not standard practice to be reimbursed separately for travel costs to and from your shift. It’s up to you which jobs and shifts you accept, and as a worker on the platform you have the freedom to choose. You can decide that you’re only going to work shifts with a minimum length, especially if you’re covering a broad geographical area and want to feel the travel is worth your while.
Find out more about working independently providing support to people in your community.