Although many companies accept the need to look after company car drivers on the road, many executives have yet to be persuaded about their responsibilities to cash for car drivers. Members of the Association of Car Fleet Operators East Anglia region heard that senior executives were telling managers in charge of fleets they were not taking any action until they had proof that the police were prosecuting companies for not meeting their duty of care to business drivers using private cars.
One fleet operator told the meeting: ‘The biggest problem is the hierarchy. Unless you can produce some case histories, they say it will not happen to them. It needs to be publicised. Getting that information and showing it to the directors is the only way I will get them to take the issue seriously.’
Members were told that there was already a precedent of a company being prosecuted after a crash involving an employee on business using a private vehicle in a case involving a postal worker in the 1990s.The prosecution related to the employee not having a vehicle that was fit for purpose, the meeting heard.
Last month, Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman dispelled any doubts about employers’ responsibility to drivers covering business mileage in private cars.
He told Fleet NewsNet: ‘If drivers are at work, you are responsible for them. That’s it.’