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Simon HillWhy it is vital employers carry out regular driving licence checks

Do you regularly check driving licences to ensure that your employees are legally entitled to drive for your business?

If you don’t, then you’re risking invalidating your insurance and breaking the law as not all motorists notify their employers if they incur penalty points on their licence, a recent study has revealed.

Only 13 per cent of drivers surveyed by RAC Insurance said they would tell their employer if they received points, while a quarter, who already have points, said they hadn’t let any organisation know when they got them.

If you allow your drivers to drive without a valid licence then you are contravening the Road Traffic Act 1988.  As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure your drivers’ licences are up to date – both when you take on employees and at frequent intervals during their employment.

Where van drivers are concerned you must also ascertain whether or not they can legally drive vans carrying a gross weight in excess of 3,500kg.

To be truly confident that your drivers’ licences are valid – and to see if employees have got any penalty points – employers need to contact the DVLA directly or appoint a third party to do it for them.

And it’s a job you should prioritise.

If your business is found guilty of allowing unlicensed people to drive for it, then, as the employer, you could be fined up to £1,000. More worryingly still, you could be prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and face fines ranging from hundreds of thousands of pounds up to tens of millions of pounds.

You have a duty of care to your employees and the Act states that you must, so far as reasonably practicable, ensure their safety at work.

For those organisations that prefer to outsource licence checks rather than undertake the task themselves, there are myriad benefits to doing so, as many of our clients have found.

Our driver portal is a secure, fully controlled and managed driving licence checking and data verification programme that provides online results directly from the DVLA driver database.

It verifies an individual’s driving licence record and status – with enquiry results uploaded directly to our customer Fleet Connect dashboard in a secure web-based application that retains all the reporting and management capabilities of the normal Fleet Connect system.

Additionally, the portal verifies business insurance for grey fleet, a driver’s driving history, including any endorsements and accidents, MOT certification and road tax for grey fleet and vehicle history, including maintenance and accidents.

Drivers can also take part in an online risk assessment via the portal, with targeted training modules based upon their score. Once authorised and in the system, the updating and validation process becomes automated and is based upon the checking and validation programme we have agreed with clients.

We recommend that clients follow an annual validation programme, with those drivers deemed to be at high risk either through AWLC data, previous convictions or accident rate, put through the system every six months.

Our customer support team contacts those drivers who are required to either provide updated information or have their licences re-checked. The results of this procedure are shown within the monthly report or once it is set up on the customer web portal.

Clients appreciate the peace of mind this checking system provides and many have discovered that the licence check data helps them to develop their organisation’s risk management strategy.

As the RAC Insurance survey underlines, motorists don’t always reveal the full story to their bosses, so it is incumbent on you as the employer to keep your drivers safe and your operations lawful at all times.

To find out more about our range of services and how we can look after all your fleet management needs, call our award-winning customer service team on 0116 4026500.