Fleet News

Companies ignoring mobile phone laws

FIRMS are failing to put in place guidelines on mobile phone laws leaving staff and bosses open to prosecution.

Research by hands-free communications specialist Jabra in conjunction with YouGov, found that 22% of businesses still do not have policies on the use of in-car mobile phones used for company business.

Under Department for Transport guidelines, employers are liable if they require employees to use a hand-held phone while driving or if they fail to forbid employees to use such phones on company business. But only 78% of businesses have introduced a mobile phone policy for in-car use, smaller businesses are the worst offenders with only one third of SMEs having a suitable policy in place.

More alarmingly, 38% of managers said they would not feel responsible if one of their employees had an accident whilst taking a work-related call in the car.

‘Employers should be aware that, in addition to their liability under the mobile phone legislation, the Health and Safety at Work Act makes it a legal duty to take all reasonable practical measures to ensure the safety of their staff and of those they come into contact with while working. This law applies to employees using the phone on the road for work-related calls. Employers should also be aware of the possible charge of corporate manslaughter in cases where a business driver has a fatal accident,’ said Andrew Doyle, Jabra’s UK country manager.

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