HR FEEDBACK: Look closely at licenses
24 April 2009
HR managers should be making the most of technology to check driving licenses and help them identify disqualified drivers, writes Tom Webster
Illegal fleet drivers
One employee disqualified for drink-driving and another driving on a provisional licence were among those identified recently by CFC Solutions' new Licence Link software. The programme also identified other drivers who committed offences such as not declaring speeding points and driving vehicles for which they weren't qualified. It also supplies alerts when a photocard licence expires.
"Most fleets using Licence Link identify at least a few problems," said CFC boss Neville Briggs.
Even if a licence checking firm only identifies 'minor' offences, it's worth your time double and triple checking driving licenses. A member of staff who is only allowed to drive a certain category of vehicle may only seem like a minor offence until they are involved in an incident that warrants police investigation.
A licence checking firm can take all the hassle out of it, with automatic updates meaning there can be no escape for drivers trying to hide offences.
Boring budget please
Staff involved with running fleets would welcome a "low-key budget with few surprises", according to Lloyds TSB Autolease. The firm's finance director Alan Lunt reckons there has been enough to take on board recently with the capital allowances reform and a fuel duty rise.
If ever there was a time when HR managers deserved a brief pause to sit and take stock then this was it. Unfortunately, things never really work like that, and it would not be surprising to see a few announcements in this week's Budget that shift the goalposts ever so slightly once more.
Some may be welcome - as Lunt points out, there is the much-vaunted potential scrappage scheme that remains to be resolved - but will mean that fleet operators are unlikely to get the much-needed time to assess all the recent changes.
HR-led policies disappearing
Fleets are moving away from a HR-led, flexible benefits company car policy towards ones led by cost, safety and the environment, according to GE Capital Solutions. The leasing firm claims costs are a lesser concern in sectors where recruitment and retention are major issues. But it also says this type of policy is becoming rarer in the recession, with more businesses opting for restrictive policies on cost or emissions grounds.
Company car policies are being analysed more critically, but there's still plenty of potential for offering a choice of attractive, efficient and economic-to-run models. At the moment staff will accept almost any decision as they're worried about keeping their jobs, but cut back too far, especially on that last bastion of status, the company car, and when boom time eventually returns, decisions made now could come home to roost in terms of retention and staff loyalty to the business.
MPs' training sign up
Six more MPs have signed up to take the Institute of Advanced Motorists Driver Risk Management programme, which saw them take an online assessment of their driving attitudes.
It's good to see training is even finding a place in the House of Commons. Perhaps if there is an increase in training then MPs will realise, as all safe, properly trained drivers do, that a blanket 50mph speed limit is entirely unnecessary.