Category: Licence Link

Take check of your drivers, or your fleet could end up in hot water.

With the lifting of coronavirus restrictions fast approaching, business owners should be prepared. According to Licence Link, the return to ‘normality’ could see a spike in driver endorsements – following the imminent reopening of nightlife and the return of commuters. Now it’s time to take stock of your drivers’ licence points or risk serious consequences.

According to figures released by DVLA, 92,000 UK drivers already have between 9 and 11 points on their driving licence, making them a high risk to employers. * This figure is only set to rise too – with motorists having racked up a hefty 1.5 million points during the first half of 2020 alone, amidst a full lockdown. **

With these figures in mind, it’s crucial to consider how your business may be affected if your staff were to incur points – whether they’re employed as a driver, have access to a grey fleet vehicle, or are insured on your fleet policy. For example, being convicted of drink driving, speeding, or using a mobile behind the wheel – even out of working hours – could result in anything from 3 points to a driving ban. From invalidating your insurance to rendering your business temporarily driverless, this could have a serious impact.

What’s more, if the employee fails to disclose this information, your business could be held liable for fines (or worse), so it’s imperative to always keep check of drivers. With Licence Link’s real-time licence checking tool, Fleet Managers can set automated checks for their workforce – reducing the risk of missed or undeclared points. They can flag high-risk drivers to check more frequently too, providing peace of mind that new endorsements will be identified quickly.

Melvin Jeffers, Sales and Customer Relations Leader at Licence Link explains:

“With thousands of employees still awaiting a return to the workplace, its inevitable HR teams will be overrun in preparation. Using Licence Link is a significant time-saver, safeguarding against the risk of missed checks. It’s so easy to make mistakes when tracking results manually, often for hundreds of drivers. For less than a few pounds per check, you can be sure your staff have a valid licence and pose no risk to your business. Your HR team can focus on other priorities, with no hassle of managing compliance.”

With the lifting of restrictions just weeks away, now’s the time for businesses to prepare – identifying high-risk drivers, checking the terms of insurance, and scheduling regular driver checks. All this can be managed seamlessly with a provider like Licence Link.

 

References for figures:

*  THISISMONEY.co.uk, 2021, ‘On the brink of a driving ban: Britain has 92,000 motorists with between 9 and 11 points on their licence – and are just one offence away from losing it.’, [online]. Available from: https://bit.ly/3hmjoGy [Accessed: 08/07/21]

** TTC Protecting people on the move, 2020, ‘Motorist speeding offences soar during lockdown’, [online]. Available from: https://bit.ly/2TEjboZ [Accessed: 08/07/21]

Free checks or false economy? Weigh up what’s best for your fleet.

Driver compliance is critical and failure to check licences can result in hefty fines for employers. According to Licence Link, buying checks from a certified provider, rather than using the free GOV.UK online service has substantial benefits – especially for busy HR teams managing several employees. Both services access driver details from the DVLA, then return these results, but what’s the difference from an employers’ view?

With the free GOV.UK checking service, employees manually apply online – they’re sent a one-time code valid for 21 days, allowing their employer to view their licence details. This relies on all drivers returning a code and the HR team following it up, which isn’t easy to track, especially for potentially hundreds of drivers. Licence Link makes it easier to manage, explains Andy Bealing, Fleet Manager, Exeter City Council:

“Licence Link’s digital checking service allows us to ensure we’re compliant with the DVLA at all times. It’s removed a number of administrative duties, giving us more time to carry out other tasks.”

For a small fee, the pressure is taken off both the business and employee. With Licence Link’s automated service, drivers can sign their consent digitally in a matter of seconds, staying valid for 3 years. It saves hours of admin time – which can end up costing significantly more than a few pounds for a check. Unlike the GOV.UK checks, Licence Link provides a full audit trail, including any past checks.

Employers can schedule routine checks as frequently as they like in Licence Link, with results returned in real-time. Again, this isn’t possible with the GOV.UK service. This makes it simple to keep watch of any new endorsements, which without attention could result in severe consequences – from invalidated insurance to driver downtime to breaking the law. Nicola Bradshaw at Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council explains:

“The reports in Licence Link are very useful, keeping us on top of driver risk. They save us time, providing all the relevant information we need to fulfil our roles successfully and efficiently.”

Ultimately, for any sizeable fleet there are stand-out benefits of using a provider like Licence Link – saving time, relieving pressure, and gaining a trackable record. Free checks are (on the surface) cheaper, but when managing more than a handful of drivers, the process can quickly become more time consuming and costly on a check-by-check basis. It’s essential to weigh up the cost to check versus the time taken by your HR team to manage the process.

Team back from furlough? Don’t forget to check their licence!

More employees are returning to the workplace – some for the first time in months, as the UK lockdown continues to ease. Licence Link urges employers to take precautions before returning team members to the road again – a simple licence check can save getting stung.

During the furlough period, many businesses temporarily paused their routine licence checks for absent team members. It’s important to be aware of any driving convictions incurred, affecting their licence, before staff return. Failure to check could result in devastating consequences for a business.

From clocking points for a speeding ticket to more serious convictions, if an employee fails to disclose a change to their licence, their employer could face penalties. This includes insurance exemptions (above a certain level of points), driver downtime (loss of licence) or even breaking the law. Failure to check can result in hefty fines, or worse.

Over 2.8 million motoring offences were issued in 2018 and 2019* alone. Although the pandemic will have affected this volume for 2020/1, it clearly shows that motoring offences are not a rarity – so they should be anticipated. Employers are naive if they fail to take precautions as part of their duty of care, they must ensure the safety of other road users and essentially cover their backs.

Melvin Jeffers, Sales and Customer Relations Leader at Licence Link explains:

“As a business, your staff are your responsibility – why risk it? With Licence Link, each check costs less than a cup of coffee. We return the results in real-time, so there’s no delay when it comes to getting your team back on the road. It couldn’t be easier.”

For businesses with drivers yet-to-return from furlough, don’t forget to check licences before employees take to the wheel – it could save your business thousands.

Do future drivers fit the bill beyond their CV?

Good fit for the team? Got the qualifications? Questions like this are commonly asked when interviewing. Although… did you check the driving licence? According to Licence Link, employers often overlook driver licence checking during interview stage which can result in extra costs, driver downtime and even breaking the law.

Fleet and HR Managers should be taking precautions when hiring to save time and money in the long-term, by incorporating licence checks before offering a job. Candidates may hold back information if not asked to take a licence check, and if an employee commits a driving offence whilst holding a critical level of points, this can have serious consequences for a business.

Refer to your insurance policy! It’s often outlined that drivers mustn’t exceed a certain level of points, meaning a business could face legal consequences – in addition to invalidating their policy. It is also critical to ensure candidates have the right licence for the role. Candidates claiming to have driven a Category C vehicle could have mistaken it for a C1 – a vital error, capable of invalidating insurance. Melvin Jeffers, Sales and Customer Relations leader at Licence Link explains:

“It’s your duty as a business to ensure all drivers have a valid licence, right for the job. Regardless of the CV or candidate, checking their licence beforehand safeguards your business. Why risk the consequences when each check costs less than a coffee?” 

Licence Link helps businesses stay on top of compliance, with results returned in real-time, making it a quick and easy process:

It saves time and provides the relevant information we need to fulfil roles successfully and efficiently” explains Licence Link customer at Cheshire West & Chester Borough Council.

Licence checking should be part of the hiring process, ideally followed by regular maintenance checks. You wouldn’t buy a dangerous car so why hire someone who puts your business at risk? It’s a small price to pay!

Licence Link gets key workers on the road quicker

Licence Link have assisted the NHS throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Coinciding with the early stages of the pandemic, the Birmingham-based driving licence checking firm introduced a new API for NHS Fleet Solutions, speeding up the driving licence checking process for employees.

A representative of NHS Fleet Solutions shared how the API has been beneficial:

“During COVID-19, our NHS teams and key workers have worked tirelessly around the clock. Licence Link made it simple for us to check and manage the driving licences from public sector employees applying for lease cars.”

With increased pressure on the emergency services, the API was introduced at the ideal time, vastly speeding up the process to check licences for key workers. Many public sector staff get their lease cars through NHS Fleet Solutions, so the API made the process much faster for all, eliminating rekeying between systems. Admin staff now only have to input licence data once – returning results quickly and seamlessly.

With Licence Link, key workers can authorise checks to their licence electronically.

Licence Link’s API will continue to provide value and speed up the process for key workers to lease a vehicle through NHS Fleet Solutions.

Free checks keep fleets compliant during COVID pandemic

With the UK amidst its third national lockdown, new factors and costs are constantly arising so it’s easy for driver compliancy to slip. To protect road users and prevent breaking the law, businesses must prioritise compliancy – ensuring key workers meet requirements.

Licence Link have made the process easier and more feasible to manage – offering free CPC and Tacho card checks to all customers, when checking their entitlement to drive.

Those responsible, usually Fleet and HR Managers, can feel at ease knowing their drivers have received the correct training (holding a valid Certificate of Professional Competence) whilst also monitoring hours worked in the driving seat, to ensure they comply with the law.

Melvin Jeffers, Licence Link Team Leader explains:

“Giving our customers free CPC and Tacho checks has been a great help. Licence Link has saved our customers hours, manually organising checks. Freeing up extra time and funds means they can focus on running their business without a worry. From delivery drivers to doctors, Licence Link has helped keep key workers on the road.”

Checks are accessible in real-time, with minimal contact. Licence Link’s eDec (electronic declaration) feature allows drivers to provide approval by eSignature – the entire process taking just moments. This has been a huge benefit, as employers strive to restrict contact throughout the pandemic.

The consequences of driver downtime, missed checks or failure to notice and rectify non-compliance could lead to detrimental consequences. Using a trusted provider such as Licence Link can substantially reduce the risk and hassle for your team.

Licence Link takes the hassle out of handling licence renewals

Keeping on top of licence checking is a time consuming, yet critical, task for fleet businesses, ensuring that every driver they employ is in possession of a full, valid driving licence to comply with the DVLA and the law.

The issues surrounding COVID-19 meant that the DVLA provided an 11-month extension period on driving licences due to expire between 1st February and 31st December 2020. This has complicated the tracking of expiry dates for potentially hundreds of employers, fleets that track records manually or where systems don’t account for the extension.

Licence Link removes the hassle and confusion of keeping check of driver data across the fleet – automating the entire process and saving hours of admin time. Automated reminders can be set up easily to flag upcoming licence renewals via the DVLA for company drivers.

Once a driver has been added to the Licence Link system and they’ve electronically signed to approve checks, the employer will be notified when each licence is due for renewal. Working closely with the DVLA, Licence Link accounts for the 11-month extension period, enabling the admin team to notify drivers in advance of the correct renewal date.

In addition to reminders, businesses can schedule automatic alerts – triggering frequent licence checks on an ongoing basis, to keep on top of any penalties, fines or disqualifications employees may acquire. This eases the risk of businesses unknowingly allowing employees to drive with an invalid licence, and the associated consequences.

Get in touch to see how Licence Link can help reduce risk and save time for your fleet!

 

 

 

Reflection – Pointing the Way Ahead.

Taking a moment to reflect on all of the changes that have taken place during the past year can point the way ahead for changes for the new. Licence Link introduced exciting new improvements to its service in 2019. Let’s take a review of the year and then see where 2020 will lead us.

The three in one licence checking service, Driving Licence, Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and Digital Tachograph cards directly with the DVLA already provided a huge benefit for clients using Licence Link. Adding free of charge value whenever the DVLA provided additional features has proved to be a major contributor to the success of the service. The other major contributor being changes and enhancements driven by the desire for better and speedier efficiencies.

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The Licence Link Application Programming Interface (API).

Licence Link the online Driving Licence, CPC and Tacho Card checking service can be accessed by web sites or software systems through the Licence Link Application Programming Interface (API).

The service is already being used by many businesses and organisations within both the public and private sectors. Testimonials show just how well it is received. Having provided driving licence checking via the DVLA for a decade and being an ADLV approved operator, the service is also available to use and be offered from within other branded products.

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Electronic Driver Approval For Driving Licence Checking.

The responsibility of ensuring that a driver is entitled and safe to drive on behalf of their employer lies squarely with the employer. However, in order to check a driving licence with the DVLA, the holder must give their approval. With Licence Link’s electronic declaration feature, approval can be obtained with very little administration and time.

Imagine having a thousand employed drivers. Getting approval from all drivers for driving licence checking would then seem a hugely daunting task. Where do you begin? Is there enough time in the day to get to grips with this additional duty? But what would you say if you were told that it could be accomplished in less than a month with little impact on normal day to day administrative duties?

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