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Focus on Car Use

When you ask your domestic/household staff member to nip down the road in the car for you how do you stand legally….?

It is a very complicated area, but we would ask you to focus on one or two specific points to raise overall awareness of the care required when asking an employee to drive.

It is easy to forget, simply because so many of us are so familiar with the act of driving, that used incorrectly a car is effectively a lethal weapon. In one recent year in the UK road accidents accounted for 1,780 deaths, 22,000 serious injuries and 167,000 minor injuries.

Liability

As the employer, you can be liable for a road traffic accident committed by an employee, in a company vehicle or their own, where they have facilitated an offence.

What does this mean in practice?

Well, if you as the employer ask, allow or encourage the use of a defective vehicle, or overloaded vehicle (too many children in the car?) then you as well as the driver can be convicted of an offence. So it makes sense to ensure vehicles, yours and theirs if you ask them to use their car, are properly maintained, with all paperwork valid, and that the staff member is suitably qualified and licensed to carry out the driving.

You can also make it mandatory to report to you if they accrue points on their licences, or even a disqualification.

You should also ensure that suitable insurance is in place which covers the request you are making.

Now there are other aspects to consider but we hope this concentrates thinking on an important issue.

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