Domiciliary Care Staff Driving for Work: Employer Responsibilities

Learn about your responsibility, as an employer, for domiciliary care staff who drive at work.

According to the Homecare Association, 90% of domiciliary care workers rely on their personal vehicle, or public transport, for work and domiciliary care workers travel more than 4 million miles per day.

As an employer, your responsibility to your employee’s health and safety while driving for work doesn’t stop with simply compliance and road traffic legislation, you must comply with The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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Employers’ responsibilities to employees driving for work

According to the Department for Transport, it is “estimated that up to a third of all road traffic accidents involve somebody who is at work at the time”

As per the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, all employers must carry out risk assessments for the health and safety of their employees both while they are at work, and to other people who may be impacted by their work activities.

If you employ five or more people, you should have a written health and safety policy statement which features your policy on work-related road safety. Ensure that all employees are given this information during their induction.

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Conditions of employment for domiciliary care workers using vehicles at work

Prior to employment, there are a number of practical checks that employers should carry out to ensure that drivers and personal vehicles are not a health and safety risk.

For employee drivers, they should:

  • Hold a valid driver’s licence.
  • Have appropriate insurance.
  • Be sufficiently fit and healthy to drive safely.
  • Be knowledgeable about their motor requirements (ie. Recommended tyre pressure, tyre tread, engine oil etc).
  • Be provided with appropriate advice on driving posture.

For personal vehicles, they must:

  • Be able to provide proof that the vehicle has been road taxed.
  • Hold a valid MOT certificate if the vehicle is over three years old.
  • Be regularly serviced – either annually or every 10,000 miles.
  • Provide registration documents to prove the employee has permission to use the car.
  • Have business insurance that allows the vehicle to be used for work purposes.
  • Be in good working condition and fit for purpose, as well as be properly maintained.

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Challenges of monitoring risks caused by driving for work

Although there are limits to how much employers can control when employees are driving for work, all risks should be effectively managed within a health and safety management system.

Some ways to reduce these risks include:

  • Informing all employees that it is their responsibility to ensure their personal vehicle is fit for purpose. Regularly request evidence of appropriate documentation to support this and keep proof on file for business purposes.
  • Carrying out regular employees training on your driving for work policy and safe driving.
  • Conducting inspections to ensure employees are safe to drive.
  • Giving domiciliary care workers adequate time to get from one patient to another without rushing.

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What are the benefits of managing the risks?

As well as being compliant with the regulations, creating a policy to limit the risks employees face when driving at work and general road safety, can lead to several benefits for your company:

  • Fewer staff days lost due to injury.
  • Less vehicles off the road for repair resulting in more staff availability.
  • Less missed (or late visits) for patients.
  • Less formal investigative procedures meaning more staff availability and less legal fees.

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Domiciliary care insurance from Towergate

See our domiciliary care insurance page, call us on 0330 123 5342 or request a callback at newcare@towergate.co.uk.

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Care home insurance from Towergate

We can also provide cover for care homes. See our care home insurance page, call us on 01438 739280 or request a callback at newcare@towergate.co.uk.

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About the author

Carolyn Baker-Mellor - care insurance articles authorCarolyn Baker-Mellor is a respected industry leader with over 35 years' experience within the care insurance sector.  

Carolyn currently works at Towergate as Head of Care Insurance.

 

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.