There are several time-consuming administrative tasks that you have to perform on a regular basis when managing a fleet, including running checks on your employees driving licences to see whether or not they are eligible to drive in the UK.
To do this properly, fleet managers must ascertain employees actual credentials as a driver instead of visually checking photo and counterpart licences as the information provided on these may not be completely up to date. In this post, we are going to provide you with a thorough understanding of the process involved when performing a licence check and the reason why it should be done on a frequent basis.
What is the importance of checking licences?
For fleet companies, it is in their best interests to abide by the law and protect themselves and their employees. The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) actually states that all employers are required to have a duty of care to ensure a safe working environment for all employees, it will also provide you with peace of mind.
Furthermore, the Corporate Manslaughter Act (1988) allows companies to be prosecuted if they are deficient in health and safety resulting in fatal consequences, such as not thoroughly checking driving licences and permitting others to drive if they do not hold a valid licence. Checking licences regularly will help you avoid potential fines and give your business confidence that your drivers are properly licenced and thus properly insured.
If we look at some statistics, it is very clear that meticulous driving licence checks need to be performed on a regular basis with studies revealing that almost 1 in 3 drivers who use their vehicle for business have penalty points. There are 700,000 drivers licence checks undertaken by the DVLA every year in the UK and a recent study revealed that a driver with a revoked or disqualified licence appeared every 540 checks.
These culprits may be deliberately breaking the law or could have simply forgotten to renew their licence, but either way, businesses need to strongly consider the impact of employees losing their right to drive and the potential damaging implications a prosecution can have. Checking licences on a frequent basis not only reduces the risk of misinterpreted information and dishonesty, but makes the road a safer place for everyone.
How can I check my employees driving licences?
For large fleets, there a multiple dedicated fleet-driver-licence checking services online to help ease the administrative burden on your business but they are not free and the only other alternative is to sign up for the DVLA’s Electronic Driver Entitlement Checking Service via their website. You will still have to pay a set-up fee and a fee per enquiry, but you can also call their hotline on 0870 240 0009.
To summarise, as a fleet manager it is your duty of care and legal requirement to regularly check employee driving licences not only to minimise risk and secure your business, but to promote road safety. It is relatively inexpensive and should not be overlooked, but the criteria for the UK’s driving eligibility do change periodically, so make sure you keep up to date with the most recent rules and regulations via the DVLA website.