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Letters to the Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Long hours fault of greedy bosses

I have just read the article by Emma Cooper on long hours causing absenteeism (March 6).

It has always baffled me why office people work over their stipulated hours without getting paid anything extra.

If it was factory work or similar, overtime would be applied for and paid.

Targets depend on sales of the product produced.

If the buyers aren’t interested in that particular product for a month or two, then all the pressure in the world won’t change it.

The situation often changes from month to month.

The pressure is caused because the owners are greedy for more sales. They are never satisfied with a comfortable profit – they always want more.

As a result, managers suffer the long hours trying to work out how to increase the target figures. They then make themselves ill in the process.

The best manager along with the best junior clerk/shop floor worker can still be struck off the payroll at a stroke by the powers that be.

People should prioritise and have a routine which then allows for the emergencies and unplanned meetings.

They should keep meetings short and avoid issues being repeated. Make sure the other people understand what is required first time.

Some companies have meetings every day of the week with the same people.

This has to be a waste of time.

With all industries I would say: make sure the product is good and it will sell on its own merits.

SUE COTTER
Fine Tubes

Glaringly obvious solution

The article about what drivers do to reduce rear view glare caused me considerable alarm (March 6).

Don’t these drivers know about that handy little lever which can be found at the bottom of the rear view mirror?

If one was to move the lever it actually ‘dims’ the rear view, thereby reducing the amount of light reflected from vehicles behind.

What a clever invention.

And it’s only been fitted to production cars for the last, oh, 20 or so years!

Any driver who doesn’t read his or her vehicle handbook to find this out deserves to be dazzled.

RON BACKHOUSE
Fleet support clerical officer, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Annoyed at lack of right to appeal

I was pleased to read your article regarding the relaxation of parking enforcement (March 6).

We have seen a huge increase in the number of parking penalty charges in the last year.

But the worst involved Stevenage.

A ticket was received on Dec-ember 7 and an appeal lodged on the same day. On January 10 the appeal was dismissed.

A cheque for £30 was sent on the same day.

On January 31 we received a notice of underpayment (for not paying within 14 days), so we wrote back spelling out the details of the case.

On February 14 an enforcement notice arrived demanding an additional £30 or court action would ensue.

We had no option for further appeal or to represent our case.

I responded on each occasion on the same day.

Most annoying was the lack of a right to appeal, and the complete lack of commonsense.

The lesson is – stay away from Stevenage!

DAVID FOOTITT
Managing director, NEWS Transport

Don’t rush into AMAP rates change

I read with interest the article from Fleet Audits suggesting the majority of employees using their own car on business travel are not out of pocket (fleetnews.co.uk, March 6).

This is far from the case and it depends on what you measure the ‘cost’ to be.

It is the view of Fleet Audits that the employee would already have incurred the cost of purchasing and insuring their vehicle and therefore the ‘cost’ is only the additional cost of the business journey.

On this basis, many employees would not be out of pocket with a reimbursement of 40p per mile.

This, though, is not how the legislation designed the arrangement and the ‘cost’ being reimbursed is the total cost of running that business journey.

On this basis, unless an employee uses a small car then the 40p would be insufficient to meet their costs.

It must be remembered that there are a significant number of employees who claim AMAP relief and any change to this will not be considered popular.

In real terms, the relief is significantly reduced from what was permitted prior to 2002.

The real issue is how can the Government propose any change when it does not know the impact of that change?

I hope the Government will undertake a proper assessment of the position for any proposal to change are introduced.

ALASTAIR KENDRICK 
Bourne Business Consulting LLP
 

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