Under Health and Safety legislation employers have a duty of care to employees including those employees who use a company vehicle or drive their own vehicle for business. If an employee had an accident whilst they were driving for business purposes, the Company could be held liable under health and safety legislation or even worse, corporate manslaughter legislation, especially if they did not take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.
Annual vehicle document checks are a good way of helping to protect the business and showing a duty of care to employees.
An annual vehicle document check should be undertaken for all employees that drive for or on behalf of the business or any third party that has access to a company vehicle. Ideally, they should be undertaken as soon as the employee is recruited and regularly thereafter. Drivers should be made aware of your company policy on work related road safety and what is expected of them and training should be carried out in this area.
The annual vehicle document check should include the following:
- The validity of the employee’s driving licence
- Proof of their car insurance certificate including business use
- A valid MOT certificate
The latter two are quite straightforward, you would simply ask the employee to show you an original copy of their insurance certificate and MOT certificate, take a copy of these for a record to show you checked these.
From 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart of all UK photocard driving licences were abolished. These used to detail any points or disqualifications. To check the validity of an employee’s driving licence now, employers can call the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to check that an employee is entitled to drive. The employer can request information about the employee’s driving licence, including: the licence validity dates; the categories of vehicle that the employee is entitled to drive; whether or not there are any current endorsements on the licence; and whether or not the employee is disqualified from driving.
The employer can also request information about any Certificate of Professional Competence held by the employee.
Employers can contact DVLA for a driver entitlement check. To carry out a check online, the employer must use a code provided by the driver. To obtain the code, the driver must enter their licence number, national insurance number and postcode on the ‘View your driving licence’ page of the GOV.UK website. The code is valid for 21 days. The code can only be used once, if you need to do another check you will need to obtain another code.
The employer can also request a driver entitlement check by post or telephone. The employer must explain why it is requesting the information and how it will use it. The employee must provide their consent for the information to be disclosed. DVLA form D888/1 is available for this purpose.
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