When an employee is out on the road, they become something of an unknown risk factor. From the vehicle they drive to their behaviour behind the wheel, if they are on company time, you have a degree of responsibility for them. Also, if they are driving on company time and anything was to happen while they are behind the wheel, there are implications for the employer, ensuring the employee was safe.
This basic, three step approach should be used and enforced with all company drivers, both new and existing, for all vehicle types, including company vehicle drivers, pool cars, day rental, drivers of personal vehicles and drivers of company vehicles.
First thing all employers must do is check. In terms of driving licences, a basic check should involve visual licence check of both card and paper parts. Later in 2015, when the paper part of the licence is abolished, checks should still be completed using the DVLA’s online portal.
The next step is to take a record of this check. With driving licences, a dated copy should be taken and stored securely for future reference.
The final step is frequency. It is all well and good having records of driving licences; however it’s a pointless exercise if they are checked once every five years. At FleetEurope we recommend a minimum check on an annual basis, more frequently for high risk drivers i.e. those on nine points or more.
This simple three step approach of Check – Record – Frequency will ensure employers are remaining compliant with legal and duty of care obligations.
A policy should be in place to deal with any convictions/points and traffic offences that appear on a licence. Any company insurance policies will also need to be informed and updated of audit results.
The same approach should be used for vehicles used for company use – whether these are company owned vehicles (pool) or employee ‘grey fleet’ vehicles. If the driver uses their own vehicle on business then vehicle checks should be included. The driver should be asked to complete a vehicle health check sheet, which may include taking copies of MOT and Insurance certificates. Again, these should be recorded checked frequently.