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Employee risk fears as survey finds a third of fleets lack vehicle policy

Date: 26 May 2021   |   Author: Simon Harris

A substantial number of businesses are taking high risks when it comes to compliance and employee safety, according to research by LeasePlan.

A survey of 500 fleet decision makers found that while the vast majority of those who manage their business's fleet are aware that a company vehicle policy is a legal requirement, a third (33%) don't have a policy in place.

LeasePlan said managing work-related road safety risk is a legal requirement for all businesses, and for employees driving for work, this should include checking drivers' licenses, organising driver training, vehicle maintenance, and updating a company's vehicle policy.

But the survey found that only 41% of businesses always act on potential issues of fleet performance. And despite 85% of businesses having more staff than usual working from home in the past 12 months, one in five (22%) haven't reviewed their fleet policies to take new ways of working into consideration.

Fleet decision makers reported an average of 11.17 accidents a year involving vehicles in their fleets, with the average cost of vehicle repair after an accident coming in at over £3,800. With 29% averaging the cost of vehicle repair at £5,000 or more, there is a clear correlation between managing risk and the legal and financial ramifications on a business.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Black, commercial director at LeasePlan UK, said: "Vehicle fleets have provided a vital safety line throughout the pandemic by helping to keep our essential workers mobile. During this time, many businesses have had to make significant changes to their fleet function, and as such, existing company fleet policies may be out of date. This naturally presents a safety risk to a company's employees, as well as the general public, so it's important that those operating fleet do their due diligence.

"Our approach to risk management is about using innovative thinking to identify, manage and minimise risks, not just for today, but for the risks of the future. LeasePlan has pioneered the use of technology to record driver behaviour, identify potential risks and improve driver training and performance, all to ensure that employees and their vehicles can be kept on the road safely."

Reducing fleet risk comes third in a list of aims that businesses have for their fleets in 2021, behind reducing cost and becoming more sustainable. Yet managing fleet risk has the potential to impact both these first two aims if managed properly. Considering that our research found that telematics are only being utilised by 35% of businesses that are monitoring their fleet performance, there is clearly work to be done.

Black added: "While many businesses will manage an issue after it happens, we believe it's imperative that those managing fleets address potential risks proactively. We understand the multiple facets involved in this, so we have created a suite of fleet risk management tools to help guide fleet managers. We hope our end-to-end approach to risk management will help those managing fleets navigate the complexity and ensure they have the right health and safety policies in place."