pic of lady driving a vintage car for blog post about legal obligations of employers for staff that drive for work

Driving for Work – How to Manage Employee Safety

Brian McDowell Uncategorized

Are you sure your employees are fully covered when travelling for work? Are they using their own vehicles? Have you got a system to automate document validation and a regular checklist for managers and employees to work from?

We asked specialist insurance brokers Campion to outline some key points to be aware of if you have employees driving for work.

HRLocker can manage reminders for expiry dates and checks and Campion are worth contacting to check you have the right business insurance cover for your needs.

At the bottom of this page is a form where you can register interest in either Campion’s or HRLocker’s services.

Along with this advice you should also have in place:

  1. A safe driving policy statement
  2. Completed a driving for work risk assessment
  3. An onboarding workflow for new employees that will drive as part of their job plus regular driving documentation checks. HRLocker can help with both new-hire and frequent driver validation processes using our CPD module.

pic of rickshaw driver for blog post about driving for work obligationsImage courtesy O’Dea

What do employers have to have in place to ensure anyone driving for work is completely covered while driving for work – what are the most common pitfalls that render their cover invalid?

  • Not having offsite work or working at home or general business travel covered under your company Public Liability policy.
  • If driving company vehicles, it’s essential that the driver has the appropriate driving licence. E.g. does their licence allow them to drive with a trailer or particular weight of vehicle? So you need to have a system to check driver category qualifications, expiry dates and validity at the required intervals.
  • Drivers with undisclosed penalty points that the insurer is not aware of.
  • It’s important to ensure that the driver has the correct age profile to be allowed to drive under that policy. E.g. a driver under 21 – or with less than 12 months continuous driving experience – could be subject to a higher policy excess. Some policies need 2 years continuous driving experience or the driver is not covered. Policies have different terms and conditions, so it’s important the terms and conditions are read carefully.
  • Drivers with inappropriate amounts of rest. Particularly those driving commercial vehicles for extended periods of time, particularly if a tachograph is required to log this time.
  • A fleet policy will not cover the driver for any injuries sustained. The insurer may have an employer’s liability policy which would have deal with this aspect in the event the accident was as a result of the negligence of the employer. E.g., if there was a vehicle defect which the driver couldn’t have known about. Personal accident cover should also be considered.
  • Claims for loss of vehicle or items stolen from vehicle will be declined if the keys were not removed from the vehicle. So you need a policy about vehicles being locked. Perhaps laptops in the boot etc.
  • Some employers restrict carrying passengers as this prevents personal injury claims from passengers and reduces the potential for high valued claims.

via GIPHY

What about employees driving their own private vehicles on company business – what are they covered (or not covered) for on their private policies? What would an employer checklist for ensuring compliance is met consist of?

  • Correct vehicle use and/or contingency under fleet policy.
  • Do they have Business use on their own policy? This is typically the responsibility of the employee and most employment contracts will state this in their terms and conditions
  • Some private policies cover occasional business use, but the employee should have class 2 cover.
  • If the employer requires that the employee do a lot of driving, this will increase the demands on the vehicle, and may reduce the time that the insured has to keep the vehicle roadworthy. I.e., they may claim that they didn’t have time to buy tyres due to work commitments and the AD aspect of the claim was declined, so they could potentially make a claim against their employer.

Photo by Zbysiu Rodak on Unsplash

What aspects on driving for work can only the employee be responsible for? Where does employer liability end?

  • Depending on the policy being used. I.e. if the insured is driving their own vehicle for business use, then the employee is responsible for all third party claims and injuries and the employer is not responsible.
  • If the employee is driving a work vehicle under a fleet policy the employer is vicariously responsible for all third party damage and for the damage to the vehicle.

Are Campion operating cross-border with UK-based organisations too? If so, what differences would there be in terms of obligations between UK/NI employers and ROI employers?

  • Yes, but the rules in UK/NI are largely the same and differences would only be those between the insurance policies.

What are Campion offering that differentiates them from other operators HRLocker customers might consider or already be using?

  • Dedicated claims service
  • Partnership
  • Dedicated staff who will match the customer to the correct policy to help avoid some of the issues outlined above. An insurer will try to sell you their own product. Campion will match you to the most appropriate products and can discuss the suitability of the product in detail.

More Driving for Work resources:

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IMPORTANT: The content of this blog post does not constitute legal advice and HRLocker accept no responsibility for any actions taken on behalf of this content

Driving for Work – How to Manage Employee Safety was last modified: November 19th, 2018 by Brian McDowell

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