In some of the worst examples, staff are being employed for jobs such as a mobile sales force, when they do not even have a driving licence.
The focus of the department on attracting new staff and keeping them happy can clash directly with a company’s duty of care responsibilities when it comes to educating drivers to be safe on the road and disciplining them when they act irresponsibly.
Members of the Scottish region of Acfo, the fleet managers’ association, were told: ‘Managers and HR would take an interest when it comes to their sales people being trained in the new Financial Services Authority rules, but when it comes to company cars they lose interest.’
One fleet manager, who works in the HR division of her company, admitted that the roles were conflicting. She said: ‘The problem I have is that the contract of employment has nothing about the car, but the fleet policy does.’
Another said: ‘One of our staff got a job as a mobile financial adviser, but did not drive and had never passed a test. After she got her licence, I took her out for an appraisal drive and she was terrible. I had to tell management that I couldn’t stop her from driving if they wanted her to, but I had grave concerns.
‘I don’t understand how you can be given a mobile job when you don’t even have a licence.’
Members heard that the focus on ‘customer service’ for employees had to be ‘flipped on its head’ when it came to company cars and duty of care.
‘Our drivers have got to prove they are capable of driving a car – otherwise, they don’t get one. If any of the cases I have heard had been mine, I have a good relationship with managers and HR and I would make sure safety issues with the fleet are well controlled. From a duty of care point of view, some of these cases are a real potential problem.’