A ‘Grey Fleet’ occurs when employees are required, or allowed, to drive their own vehicles for work purposes. Few employers appreciate that the law makes no distinction between the occasional grey fleet driver and tool of trade vehicle drivers – a grey fleet vehicle is still treated as a ‘place of work’ under the Health & Safety at Work Act. The implications of the Grey Fleet’s legal position often come to light only when something goes wrong. For example, an employee has a collision in the course of a work related journey the cause of which is subsequently traced to a fault with the employee’s vehicle. The employer would have checked the employee’s licence and demerit points, but can demonstrate no knowledge of the vehicle. Alternatively a fleet management policy may exist but perhaps has only been shared with those who drive the company’s own vehicles. And so on.
Any employer in this situation will have failed in its Duty of Care, and the consequences, both for the organization and the individuals responsible, can be severe. There are still valid cases for using grey fleet, the key is to be aware of the additional risks and also to be prepared. Like company owned vehicles, grey fleet cars should also have access to 24/7 accident management and driver support resources if the worst does happen.
Talk to us now about how we can protect and manage your business, support fleet management and H&S obligations, and ensure your drivers are safe when accidents happen.