Engaging drivers vs subcontracting

It is the contractor's responsibility to recruit and employ or subcontract a suitably qualified driver, including relief drivers, when providing transport services to the ASTP.

The contractor will need to carefully decide if they wish to employ drivers or request to subcontract.

Contractors may negotiate with drivers or subcontractors on vehicle ownership provided that there is a formal agreement in place that has been accepted by both parties.

The ASTP may request statements from the contractor confirming compliance with Workers Compensation, Payroll Tax and Industrial Relations Acts.

Contractors are responsible (see the ASTP Agreement (PDF 493KB)) for ensuring drivers have the necessary skills, competencies and approvals in providing services to the ASTP and meeting the contractual requirements for service delivery.

Read more about contractor responsibilities when working with the ASTP.

Key differences between drivers and subcontractors


Becoming a driver for the ASTP is a competitive process and at the discretion of the department. The ASTP does not employ drivers directly.

  • A driver must receive appropriate training and relevant information to assist in their role.
  • A driver must have a valid tax file number.
  • A driver is engaged as an employee of a contractor and paid wages and allowances in accordance with a relevant NSW award.
  • Payment of wages to the driver is made weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
  • All on-costs are paid by the contractor in relation to holiday pay or allowances, sick leave, workers compensation.
  • Superannuation entitlements are paid into the employee's approved superannuation fund.
  • A driver's taxation is paid by the contractor on behalf of the driver and remitted to the Australian Tax Office.

Driver responsibilities

Drivers must:

  • have a valid Working With Children Check (WWCC) number
  • possess English language skills sufficient for the effective delivery of ASTP services
  • receive clearance from the ASTP before commencing work
  • are medically fit to hold a driver licence
  • maintain a good driving record
  • carry driver identification at all times
  • follow their assigned run card(s)
  • meet a high standard of professionalism
  • work collaboratively with Assisted Travel Support Officers (ATSOs) to manage students on transport.

Find out more about the driver application process.


Subcontracting raises risk for ASTP contractors. Careful consideration is needed to ensure all the required legal and contractual obligations can be met.

Approval to subcontract must be obtained from the ASTP. The ASTP reserves the right in its absolute discretion, not to approve an application for subcontracting.

  • Contractors may, with the approval of the ASTP, and in limited circumstances, subcontract services.
  • The ASTP must approve subcontracting arrangements prior to the commencement of services.
  • The subcontractor must hold an Australian Business Number (ABN).
  • A contractor cannot subcontract to more than one level (does not apply to taxi bailee drivers, clause 25.4 of the ASTP Agreement).
  • The contractor has ultimate responsibility over runs assigned to them, and must ensure the subcontractor and its drivers are aware and complies with all obligations in accordance with the ASTP Agreement.
  • Approval to subcontract does not relieve the contractor from obligations under the ASTP Agreement.
  • ASTP may withdraw its consent to subcontract if the requirements of the ASTP Agreement are not being met.
  • Where the subcontractor has employees, the contractor is required to obtain and retain for their records a statement from their subcontractors to comply with s175B of the Workers Compensation Act 1987, schedule 2 Part 5 Payroll Tax Act 2007, and s127 Industrial Relations Act 1996.
  • Payments are made to subcontractors each month as per the subcontract agreement (PDF 884.64KB).

Find out more about the subcontracting application process.

Business Unit:

  • Student Support and Specialist Programs
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