As the pandemic restrictions ebb and flow with each COVID-19 variant, many organisations are pivoting to B2C home deliveries as a new normal.
The diverse responsibilities include delivery drivers, passenger drivers, truck drivers, chauffers (VIP clients) and home visits.
So where does all the expanded pool of drivers come from?
Some ‘drivers’ are recruited internally, changing the job description of staff so they can retain their employment. In the private sector, waiters at restaurants become delivery drivers, sometimes driving their own vehicles or motor bikes. Similarly, the public transport restrictions have increased the number of home visits, especially by local councils and service organisations.
Some are recruited externally through platforms such as SEEK & JobAdder, social media and word of mouth.
Others are outsourced to contractors with their own fleet of vehicles.
But all these drivers ultimately represent your company, brand name and reputation.
Where your organisation already manages your own fleet of ‘company vehicles’, employees are handed the car keys, and often assumed to have the correct and valid licence.
The driver licence is often photocopied and filed away, ‘just in case’.
Fast forward to the dreaded day when the ‘case’ explodes. There is an accident or fatality, caused by your ‘representative’ driver. It suddenly exposes your failure to exercise due diligence.
Why? Licence is not current, expired, conditional, in the wrong category or even fraudulent.
Your beloved brand name on the marked vehicle is highlighted during the bad press, and you are suddenly in damage control.
Fingers point from behind the proverbial excuse ‘but I assumed …’
Your motor vehicle insurance and public liability insurance policy declines your claim, or your premiums skyrocket.
The victim of the crime evokes the chain of responsibility laws that incriminate you as culpable for manslaughter.
Let’s rewind the reels of this nightmare and paint a different picture.
You ask a professional to check the validity of the Driving Licence. Within a couple of business days, the responsible state or territory transport department issues a complete and accurate verification of the driver’s traffic history.
This vital check reveals the current licence category held by the driver, as there are eight licence types depending on the vehicle size. Besides the C class licence for a car, there is a Light Rigid (LR) class for vans and trucks weighing above 4.45 tonnes.
In some states, Rideshare drivers require accreditation as Commercial Passenger Vehicles.
There are two classes of motor cycle licences, depending on the engine capacity.
The check will reveal:
- dates of any past driving fines imposed, including those incurred interstate;
- if the driver is fully licenced or on a probationary (provisional) licence;
- if there are conditional codes such as automatic transmission only (A), requires an alcohol ignition interlock system (I), has a medical condition (M) or requires corrective lenses (S).
If the licence check reveals a false name and identity fraud, this raises major alarm bells about the character of your driver.
Before your fleet become couriers and outreach vehicles, protect yourself from driving-related risks.
Integrate this into your package of background screening, alongside criminal & medical history checks.
This will protect your organisation and ensure due diligence.
A small fee and a couple of days will prevent a large fee and adverse publicity that lingers for years.