Management/ Duty of Care Management/ Duty of Care
The implications of the Health & Safety and Duty of Care concerns have highlighted one significant issue: employers must consider all journeys made for business purposes as an at-work road risk, irrespective of the ownership status of the vehicle being used. This point is made in Part 9 of this series as part of the overall approach to effective management of road risks.
These Health & Safety elements have been interpreted in many different ways across businesses. Some regard the risks of employees using their own cars to be so high that such use is forbidden: all business journeys must be made in a company controlled or rental car.
Other employers (including very many public sector bodies and government departments) rely almost totally on use of employees' own cars for business travel. Provided there is an appropriate risk assessment carried out, there is no reason why this could not be an effective solution.
The process of the risk assessment is described in Part 9. For grey fleet circumstances there needs to be a focus on the legal status of the employees' own cars - checks and balances to ensure that all cars used are properly roadworthy and well maintained, have full and appropriate insurance cover (including cover for business use), and are "fit for purpose". Part of the overall assessment in addition to the road-risk aspects may be the suitability of the employee's car from the commercial point of view, such as the use of a small hot hatch where taking clients to sites may be part of the employee's job.