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Employers across Europe have been warned over the risks of allowing employees to use their own cars for work purposes, as people continue to avoid using public transport and demand for business travel grows as the economy gets back into gear.
This “grey fleet” of vehicles now being used for business travel isn’t just a UK issue, and is also a huge duty of care risk for HR leaders and employers, said Enterprise Rent-A-Car's business mobility specialist Adrian Bewley, presenting new research from the firm.
[pullquote]The risks over driver health and safety and CO2 emissions can be even more pronounced as grey fleet cars tend to be older and more polluting and may lack the latest safety equipment” – Adrian Bewley, Enterprise Rent-A- Car[/pullquote]
He said: “Business travel may seem far down the agenda of priorities and it may seem convenient to empower employees to use their own car and claim expenses for their business trips after the fact. However, there are many duty of care implications. UK employers are legally responsible for the condition of all vehicles used for work, even when they have little or no control over what people drive.”
Enterprise's study found that in the UK, France and Germany, 62% of grey fleet drivers don’t regularly conduct essential basic maintenance checks to ensure their cars are safe and legal to drive. And nearly half (48%) of those who currently have a warning light showing on their dashboard do not plan to have it checked.
This was a duty of care risk and an operational concern, said Enterprise, because 32% of UK drivers and 28% of those in France and Germany admit that they’ve actually missed or were late to a business meeting because they were sorting out a vehicle repair.