Unison, the giant public sector union, is launching its own driving ‘licence’ to prove staff and employees are safe at the wheel.
More than 500 officials and workers will have to qualify for the driving permit to protect the union and its management from risk of unintentionally violating new laws governing corporate manslaughter and homicide being introduced next month.
The new legislation places a major onus on employers to ensure their employees and vehicles are fit for the road.
“Unison drivers need to fully appreciate that being on the road can be deadly – we care deeply about employee well-being,” said Ian Smith, health and safety officer at the union, which has 1.3 million members.
“Operating the permit to drive scheme is costing us £21,000 a year but the reduction in car damage and insurance costs it should create could prove it a bargain.”
Penalties for violating the new legislation can be up to 10% of turnover and it is planned to ‘shame’ convicted businesses by advertising penalties in the press and on TV.
Local authorities will be subject to the legislation, as will charities engaging unpaid volunteers using their own vehicles.
The union permit will be issued and supervised by RiskMaster, the occupational road risk protection programme supported by Drive & Survive and the Institute of Advanced Motorists.