Are You Taking Your Duty Of Care Seriously?

Are You Taking Your Duty Of Care Seriously?

By Darren Newton
07 December 2016

You'll have heard the term duty of care numerous times but do you know what it really means? We often find that companies aren't entirely sure which department takes responsibility for it and it can get neglected. Chief Technology Officer Darren Newton discusses why you should be taking your duty of care responsibilities seriously.

Duty of care is meant to provide protection for the company as well as its employees and must be taken seriously. Failing to do so can result in financial costs in terms of insurance and legal fees, as well as a cost to your corporate reputation, which may never recover.

Essentially, duty of care responsibility is the legal obligation of both individuals and companies to adhere to a standard of reasonable care when performing acts that could foreseeably harm others. The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 considers the vehicle as part of the workplace and driving any vehicle on company business, regardless of ownership, is subject to legislation. Driving is considered as one of the most dangerous activities undertaken by most employees when travelling and entertaining through the course of business. 

Being proactive in your duty of care responsibilities demonstrates you are making reasonable endeavours for your employees to be safe on the road, but it also shows that your company is caring and compliant. Depending on the size of an organisation, collecting all the correct documentation can be a mammoth task and there may be confusion of who should look after this. Payroll? HR?

For such a labour intensive job, how can this be made easier? We've found the most efficient way to manage our vehicle and driving duty of care obligations is to automate the recording and verification of all documents.

At Selenity (formerly Software Europe) we collect vehicle insurance (including class 1 business insurance), MOT, tax, service, breakdown cover and driving licence details (including a licence check with DVLA) for our duty of care. If our colleagues don't provide these documents, then they can't claim for mileage.  We know by doing this that we're taking steps to protect both ourselves and our colleagues.

When a licence or vehicle document gets close to expiry, notifications are automatically sent so colleagues can upload their new documents. This removes the administrative burden from any particular department and places the emphasis on our colleagues to provide the most up-to-date information. If they don't, mileage can't be claimed for when their duty of care documents dates passed. 

By automating the process, we've centralised all of our duty of care documents and if an incident occurred, we have a full audit history at the click of the button.

The safety of our colleagues is vital and the duty of care functionality is built into our award winning Expenses solution. We've recently enhanced the duty of care feature to make it even easier for our customers to manage their obligations and responsibilities.

Remember that as an employer you have a responsibility to ensure that employee safety is not compromised through negligence. Can you afford to not take duty of care seriously?

If you want to know more about duty of care and the automation of your expenses then we'd be happy to show you.