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Driving for work: Part two: Grey Fleet vehicles and your responsibilities as an employer

Company cars aren’t the only vehicles you need to keep an eye on if your employees drive for work, but our easy guide to Grey Fleet vehicles breaks it down for you.

03 September 2019

In part one, we discussed ways in which you could help to keep your employees safe while on the road, but company cars aren’t the only vehicles you need to keep an eye on if your employees drive for work.

You also need policies and procedures in place for “Grey Fleet” vehicles – transport owned by an employee that is used for work purposes. There are an estimated 14 million Grey Fleet vehicles on the road, with this number including cars purchased via an employee ownership scheme and privately rented vehicles, as well as vehicles privately owned by an employee.

The Health and Safety Act 1974 says that safely managing Grey Fleet vehicles is an employer’s responsibility, while the Road Traffic Act 1988 means it’s a criminal offence to allow unlicensed employees to drive. However, the process of handling Grey Fleet vehicles tends to be more complicated than overseeing cars directly owned by your business. For example, it is harder to keep track of elements such as:

  • Driving licence validity
  • Insurance details
  • MOT certification
  • Road tax validity.

The penalties for not complying with these rules of the road range from a hefty fine to criminal charges, including manslaughter should a road death occur. Nevertheless, by putting the right policies and procedures in place you can help to minimise any risks posed to both your staff and your business’s reputation. Recommended policies and procedures include:

  • A driving for work policy
  • Regularly checking driver and vehicle documentation
  • Providing training to employees.

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

An employer’s responsibility towards Grey Fleet vehicles is similar to those driving company-owned transport. You must check your employee has the right licence, insurance and current MOT, and not just take their word for it. You should also implement a solid driving for work policy and ensure staff are properly trained.

Driving for work policy

As with company-owned vehicles, ask yourself how and when your employees use their Grey Fleet vehicles, what risks these activities pose to other drivers and pedestrians, and the possible implications of those risks. Then create a driving policy based around the ways you can manage these risks. Asking Grey Fleet employees to contribute to the driving policy with their own suggestions for road safety is also advised, as they may notice points you have missed.

Make sure all vehicles are safe and legal

Just like your company-owned vehicles, check that your Grey Fleet vehicles are legal, roadworthy and appropriate for the job role. Look for minimum safety features, such as head restraints and seat belts, and ask staff to remove any in-car distractions.

Train your drivers

All of your drivers, Grey Fleet or otherwise, should receive training appropriate to their job role. It is also recommended that you assess an employee’s attitude to road safety and ask them to report any accidents or motoring offences both on-duty and off. Also ensure senior managers are leading by example, and make safe driving and adhering to company policies the only option.

What are my employee’s responsibilities?

The person driving the vehicle is responsible for making sure they have the right licence for the vehicle they drive, along with motor insurance for the correct class. The vehicle needs to be serviced and maintained to the manufacturer’s specifications, have tyre treads within legal limits and to have passed their last MOT. The driver must also have notified you of any medical issues – including medication prescribed by their GP – as when it comes to employee health conditions, it is your legal responsibility as an employer to ensure you are informed.

For more information on keeping your employees safe while driving for work purposes, ask about our Occupational Road Risk Management assessments. We offer simple and effective policies and procedures to help you minimise the risk to your staff while on the road, whether in a Grey Fleet or company-owned vehicle.

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