One in three fleet managers in the UK have little to no knowledge of corporate duty of care to employees, new research commissioned by business mobility provider Alphabet (GB) shows. 

All businesses are legally required to manage health and safety in the workplace. They must have norms in place to reduce work-related risks to staff and the public. 

In the context of mobility, when travelling for business, vehicles are considered a place of work. 

Laxity in the duty of care obligations could have legal, financial, and reputational consequences. 

The study by Alphabet (GB) highlights that 33% of fleet managers have little or no knowledge of their duty of care obligations.

While 45% considered themselves very knowledgeable, 4% of them did not even have a driver risk policy in place. 

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The majority (81%) of them conducted regular driver risk policy reviews, with 15% of them saying that they had not reviewed their policy in the last 12 months. 

Among those surveyed, 88% said they run a driver training programme and 12% of them did not conduct any form of driver training. 

The findings show that most fleet managers keep records of accidents that take place in all vehicles on business travel. 

However, 8% said they do not keep records of accidents involving company vehicles and the figure doubled to 16% in the case of private vehicles.

Notably, more than half (51%) of fleet managers in the UK said they do not have clarity on the duty of care responsibilities for their ‘grey fleet’ population.

Alphabet customer account management general manager Gavin Davies said: “Far too many employers are still unaware that they retain responsibility for their employees’ safety and conduct when they are travelling for work purposes, even if they are using their own car. 

“This is particularly concerning given the increase in private vehicle use that 43% of fleets managers have observed since the pandemic, as these vehicles are often older, not as regularly maintained, and much easier to overlook than company vehicles.”

Alphabet has shared a checklist for fleet managers to help them meet their obligations. 

It includes regular drivers’ licence checks, employee audits, insurance, drivers training, vehicle servicing and maintenance and record keeping.