“Over the years, changes have been made to the vehicle classes a car driving licence covers and the rules have become increasingly restrictive”
Most importantly, the latest changes affected drivers who passed their test after 1st January 1997, and more restrictions will come into force from January next year, although current licences will keep their existing rights.
Tina therefore has the following advice for employers: “If you ask an employee to step in and drive a company vehicle on business, or even the company minibus on an outing, you need to be sure they are actually eligible. Anyone who passed their test after 1997 is restricted to just cars and cars with trailers, so driving a delivery van would not be allowed. And even if the employee agrees to drive your van, you must take care as encouraging someone to drive a vehicle for which they don’t have a licence is actually a criminal offence.”
Tina said the best way to make sure you don’t break the law is for company bosses to check with each member of staff what classes and categories of vehicle they are licensed to drive and then keep a record of it. Also in those records should be notes of who is prepared to step in as a driver if needed, and details of their insurance to make sure they are insured if they have to drive on company business.
Tina also urged employers to take pre-emptive action and check the DVLA website for details on the new changes due at the start of next year.
For more information about our employment law team, visit http://www.martinkaye.co.uk/