Licence Bureau has issued its top tips for fleet operators employing non-GB licence holders, with awareness and systematic processing being the foundations to effective management.
According to the Licence Bureau, fleet operators should be focused on ensuring they fully understand non-GB licence holders’ status and follow a systematic process of determining all necessary information prior to employment.
The warning follows a previous survey by Licence Bureau of 500,000 company drivers which highlighted that 5.3 drivers in every 1,000 presented companies with a major compliance risk when their licence was checked. It found that 2,650 company vehicle drivers out of the 500,000 had major issues with their licence, with foreign drivers accounting for 8% which can cause additional complexity around their eligibility to drive in the UK.
Licence Bureau’s top tips for non-GB licence holders:
- Education and training is vital for the individual. Ensure all drivers are aware of your fleet policy and the obligations placed on them. For example, are they aware of your policy on health and distractions whilst driving?
- In line with the above, we would strongly recommend a foreign driver familiarisation course as a minimum requirement prior to any non-GB licence holder taking to the roads. Covering off subject areas such as road classification; speed limits; driving and the law; and driving etiquette are essential.
- Ensure your processes and systems generate auto alerts and emails for non-GB licence holders. As a minimum you require alerts on: expired licences; drivers with convictions; invalid licences; declaration expired etc
- Work in partnership with a compliance provider that offers a rigorous licence checking process, ideally supported by an online compliance management system.
- If your business employs commercial vehicle drivers (for example, heavy goods vehicles), request that the driver exchanges for a GB licence. If you encounter resistance, it might be well worth the business considering covering the costs.
Richard Turner, business development manager at Licence Bureau, said, “By law, companies have a Duty of Care to manage occupational road risk. Ensuring a robust process and procedure is in place allows for periodical automatic checks of driver licences and assists with the identification and management of any risk identified.”
Under current EU legislation, EU member states have the same entitlement as GB licence holders so can drive the appropriate vehicles which their licence entitles them to drive. However, the subject of non-GB licence holders has made headlines recently following the Department for Transport (DoT) publishing guidance on ‘Driving in the EU if there’s no Brexit deal’ – an issue Licence Bureau suggested, “is something businesses and individuals need to be aware of, to start thinking of developing contingency plans should the issue arise.”
For more information and to understand the entitlement of non-GB licence holders visit: https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence