As an employer, you have an obligation to ensure that your employees, if they are driving on Company business are doing so safely. There are numerous steps to ensure that this is done, and it is important to remember that driving on Company business covers even those menial tasks such as an employee popping out on business time to get the milk for the office.

Whilst you may view this as a laborious task, by ensuring that you have the correct procedures and practices in place will help not only protect your employees’ wellbeing, health and safety, which is your obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, but also will help to protect the reputation of your business.

So, here is what you need to do:

  • Check driving licence photocards and driving licence check codes. This should ideally be done every six months and it is vital that the original photocard driving licence is seen, not a photocopy. You will need to check the following:

    • authenticity of the driving licence – if you are in any doubt, contact the DVLA.

    • the identification of the individual – is it really them? Does the photo and information match up with other ID the employee has provided?

    • expiry date – if the licence is out of date, it will have to be renewed.

    • category of vehicles that the individual is authorised to drive.

    • that the licence is not a provisional licence and that it has not been suspended or revoked.

    • number of penalty points or convictions – is this sufficiently low enough so as not to make insuring the individual to drive a Company vehicle prohibitive.

A copy of the driving licence photocard should be taken, and certified by the individual who saw the original. The copy of the photocard should be kept in the individual’s personnel file or similar, in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

  • If the employee will be using their own vehicle for business purposes, you will need to check the vehicle is roadworthy and safe to be drive. This should consist of:

    • checking MOT documentation on an annual basis (if applicable to the vehicle)

    • evidence that the vehicle is serviced on a minimum of an annual basis.

    • completion of a vehicle safety checklist – every day before the vehicle is driven.

    • V5 document

    • Evidence that the vehicle is taxed (a minimum of a quarterly basis).

Copies of the above mentioned documents should be taken, and certified by the individual who saw the originals, with copy documents kept in the individual’s personnel file or similar and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

  • Check that the employee is fit to drive. A medical questionnaire should be completed on at least an annual basis, and an obligation placed on the employee to disclose any medication or medical condition prior to commencing any work for the Company, and sufficient return to work interviews completed with employees who have been absent due to illness, injury or medical treatment. Only if the results of the aforementioned are deemed as satisfactory to you as an employer, may the employee be permitted to drive on Company business. However, it is important to remember that it may be necessary to seek a medical professional’s opinion before you can deem the employee as fit to drive on Company business.

  • Have a safe driving guide in place in line with legislation containing useful advice and guidance to employees who are driving on Company business (either their own or a Company vehicle).  A copy of the Safe Driving Guide should be kept in every vehicle used for Company business. It is all very well that the employee signs to confirm that they have read and understood the document but as potentially some employees may treat this as a tick box exercise, it is recommended that upon issuing such a document, a training or briefing session is delivered.

  • Vehicle safety checks. Get the employee to assess the vehicle they are using, whether a Company, hired or personal vehicle, against a vehicle safety checklist every day before driving it. If they are unsure of how to do this, training should be delivered.

  • Detailing the requirement of driving on Company business in the contract of employment and offer letter. If any employee is required to drive on Company business, it may be appropriate to place the following obligations on them:

    • to be in possession of a full and valid driving licence and provide this on a 6 monthly basis and as and when required

    • to produce vehicle documents when requested e.g. MOT, service, insurance.

If it is a condition of employment that the employee holds a full and valid driving licence and/or has a vehicle available to use on Company business, it is advisable to ensure these points are covered in the employment contract, especially if the employer believes they may wish to be able to end the employment, if at any time the conditions are not met.

  • Driving own vehicle on Company business - Business vehicle insurance. Anyone driving their own vehicle on Company business must have business cover included on their vehicle insurance and ideally should be asked to produce a certificate of insurance for inspection by the Company on at least a 6-monthly basis. A photocopy of the insurance certificate should be taken, placed in the employee’s personnel file and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

  • Company Vehicles - Insurance excess. Consider introducing a policy that requires employees to pay/reimburse part or all of the Company vehicle excess, if they are found to be responsible for damage to a Company vehicle.

  • Route planning and recording of travel time. It is important that you work with the employee to plan the safest route possible for their journey, taking into account reports on media and online map services. You must also ensure that breaks are accounted for during driving time in line with legislation, so that employees are well rested and you do not run the risk of being accused that you put pressure on the employee to get somewhere within an unsatisfactory time frame.

So, employers, time to get things sorted! You don’t want to be facing a conviction for the unsafe actions of your employees whilst driving on Company business. Contact us on 01305 831706 or email enquiries@rely.company if you would like to purchase a copy of our Safe Driving Guide or Vehicle Checklist, or if you need any further guidance.

Disclaimer: The content of this webpage is for information only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for specific advice. Rely Ltd accepts no responsibility for the content of any third party website to which this webpage refers.