Ho, ho, hold it Santa! Where’s your driving licence?

Published: Monday November 17, 2014

With the Christmas season rapidly approaching retailers, logistics and delivery organisations will be frantically organising their delivery schedules to ensure customers receive their goods on time. But who exactly is it that is delivering your important packages? Are they who they say they are - and more importantly, do they even have the right to drive in the UK? If they are involved in a driving incident your brand reputation could be damaged and potentially your business prosecuted.

All UK employers have the legal responsibility to ensure that every employee who drives on their behalf has a valid UK driving licence (or an overseas licence depending on the country and period of validity) and is eligible to drive, regardless of whether they are using your business' vehicle or their own. Businesses faced with the increased demand for seasonal drivers are still obliged to check that those people who drive on their behalf are legally able to do so. 

The Institute of Advanced Motorists estimate that, with the increased use of speed cameras, there are currently over 7,500 individuals driving with more than 12 points on their licence in the UK. The DVLA believe that 22% of drivers have out of date licences (a UK licence should be renewed every ten years) and over 1 million UK drivers are only 3 points away from losing their licence. So the motivation and opportunity for employees to exploit the driving licence system by providing false details in order to obtain driving jobs is apparent.  

Paper driving licences used to give drivers the opportunity to obtain a replacement, clean licence which did not show all of their endorsements. But the UK Government's 'digital by default' programme is putting many regulatory processes online. This has resulted in the abolishing of paper counterpart driving licences from Spring 2015 meaning that visually checking your employee's counterpart driving licences will no longer be possible and you will not be immune from prosecution should any of your employees commit an offence or be involved in an accident.

Not only are you obliged to check a driver's legal right to drive at the point of employment but you must also monitor that their licence remains valid and covers the vehicle they are driving.

These regulations don't just apply to drivers directly employed by you using vehicles that are owned by you. The regulations apply to any nominated person associated with the company car or vehicle - for example family members, partners or spouses.  Nor do the regulations apply only to organisations employing professional drivers: they apply to any employee or related person who drives for any purpose as part of their job.

And with approximately five million people using their own cars for work (the so called 'grey fleet') the regulations also extend beyond full or part time employees, they cover any individual who is driving for you as part of their work using their own vehicle.

With management stretched by Christmas business demands the inclination to ignore or forget these important licence checks for new and existing drivers could end in disaster.  

GBG's Know Your People service is the leading employee identity and checking service in the UK. KYP helps you to manage risks involved in recruitment to help you employ the right people, for the right roles, faster. KYP provides you with appropriate information so you can make intelligent hiring decisions consistently and confidently. As well as extensive personal details checks, it offers a robust online driving licence checking service which is all done online - no phone calls required.

The highly flexible service includes audit trails of checks for transparent record keeping. It also appends information on endorsements, expiry dates, category entitlements and all other driver-related information serves the checks into a convenient online portal for you to view.

Ensure that it's not just presents your drivers are delivering this Christmas - if they're not eligible to drive then it could be a whole sack full of problems for you too.

To learn more about how GBG's Know Your People service can provide you with quick, accurate and secure driver licence checks as well as other vital employee eligibility information view the GBG KYP video here.

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