When operating a fleet, employers have an explicit duty of care, not only for employees, but also to the general public to conduct business activities in accordance with UK law.
It is an offence if a company allows an employee to drive a vehicle for work without a valid licence and employers should satisfy themselves that drivers are competent and capable.
If you have employees who you cause or permit to drive, there are several pieces of legislation that cover your responsibility, which are as follows:
The Road Traffic Act 1988 – “It is an offence for a person to cause or permit another person to drive on a road a motor vehicle of any class if that other person is not the holder of a licence authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of that class.”
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – 2.1 – “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees.”
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – 3.1 – “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct their undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in their employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 – “Organisations that require employees to drive as part of their work must monitor their employees’ entitlement to drive and verify their driving licences.”
In the event of a work-related death, any investigation is likely to focus its attention on the organisation’s senior management to confirm they have the correct procedures in place and that those procedures are robust, monitored and managed properly to ensure compliance with the law.