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A recent shock study by the RAC shows almost nine out of 10 drivers admit they would not tell their employer if they received penalty points on their licence. To mitigate this risk, businesses need to ensure they have a robust licence and insurance checking process in place for all fleets.

Failing to make checks could lead to court action

Not making these checks can cause potential insurance problems and, in the most serious cases, result in the company ending up in court. Corporate manslaughter is not something any fleet manager wants to deal with, but it is what can happen if an employee causes a death or dies while driving and the company is judged not to have fully dispensed its duty of care to the driver.

The difficulty for employers here is the RAC’s study found only 13% of employees said they would disclose penalty points to their employer. Part of the reason for this low figure are grey fleet drivers who are unaware of their duty to keep their employer informed and their vehicle correctly insured.

Dishonest intent?

As well as protecting the employer, a reliable licence and insurance checking system like TMC’s Visa To Drive looks after the fleet driver too. Many of those who don’t disclose penalty points will do so simply because they didn’t know they had to rather than through any dishonest intention.

While a fleet manager can make individual checks on all of the company’s drivers, this is a lengthy process involving the MyLicence scheme. This lets an employer check a driver’s licence for points, but the scheme is voluntary for insurance companies so is by no means complete.

Robust systems and processes ensure duty of care

To make sure all drivers disclose penalty points and are properly insured businesses need robust systems in place and a clear fleet policy. This means the company and its drivers know exactly what is expected of them.

Some grey fleet drivers and hire car users might think the company policy doesn’t apply to them. This is wrong and employers have a duty of care to their drivers no matter what vehicle they are driving for business use.

An employer is expected to take ‘reasonable practicable’ measures to deliver their duty of care.

However, there is no hard and fast definition of how this should be achieved, so it’s down to each business to assess the relevant risks and manage them. This includes document checks, and it’s why many licence and insurance checks fail to happen.

Visa To Drive is the easiest way to implement a robust process

Visa To Drive from TMC does away with the risk of checks not being completed, which means an employer has taken all the appropriate steps to ensure duty of care.

By setting regular intervals for licence and insurance checks, Visa To Drive takes the burden away from the fleet manager. With a list of all company drivers provided by the fleet manager, Visa To Drive uses an online portal where drivers upload their licence details and complete a data protection mandate.

From here, Visa To Drive’s expert auditors check the details provided and report to the fleet manager any driver who has failed to provide their information. Visa to Drive, if desired can also go a step further and force compliance as it is integrated with TMCs proprietary mileage capture system. This enables companies to stop drivers from making mileage claims, until they provide the necessary documentation; a strong incentive to comply.

By removing the laborious task of collating all of the information for the company’s drivers, Visa To Drive lets the fleet manager create a range of reports. It also categorises drivers into low, medium and high risk depending on the number of penalty points each driver has so the fleet manager can implement more regular checks for higher risk drivers.

Another advantage of Visa To Drive is it sets in place a process for regular document checks for insurance, MoTs, service history and vehicle safety inspections. Using this system, it means both employer and company driver know the vehicle is correctly insured for use as the driver has to upload the insurance details, which are checked by TMC’s auditors. If an employee doesn’t upload the insurance information, TMC’s auditors will chase the driver directly to save the fleet manager time and inconvenience.

Introduce regular, audited checks

The same applies with MoT certificates, service histories and vehicle inspections. By introducing regular, audited checks it means the company has met its duty of care obligation and is safeguarded from any possible Health and Safety investigation.

An additional safety net with Visa To Drive is it ensures ongoing safety checks for all vehicles used for company business. Each driver is required to log on at pre-set intervals and complete a declaration that they have checked vital safety features such as tyres, wipers and lights. Again, this deals with duty of care and, just as importantly, means all company drivers are kept safe on the road.

Using Visa To Drive, regular document checks are not complicated and are wholly transparent, and no driver can avoid disclosing penalty points or other vital information.

To find out how Visa To Drive can help your business ensure duty of care please contact us today.