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WA Checking licenses for work vehicles

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by Keryn, 4 July 2017.

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  1. Keryn

    Keryn Member

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    Should an employer check a driver's license of an employee who is going to drive a work car? If an employee drives a work car and doesn't have a license, who is culpable?
    If the employer should check the license, is once at the start of employment sufficient, on the proviso that the employee understands that if he/she loses his/her license, he/she must not drive any vehicle, inlcuding a work vehicle?

    We are checking licenses on commencement of employment and each year after that, plus assuming that if someone loses it they will let us know. I want to be able to reduce this to checking on start of employment and that's it. But what responsibility does the organisatio hold if we don't check regularly and the employee does the wrong thing?
    Thanks
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Yes.
    There are two aspects to this question.
    On the one hand, the offence of driving unlicensed is committed by the driver.
    However, civil liability in accidents (such as repairs to vehicles or treatment for injuries) is more complex,
    and yes, can fall back on the employer/ owner of the vehicle.
    For example, your insurer may decline a claim if the driver was not licensed.
    In terms of your (the employer's) civil liability, no it's not sufficient.
    What would be sufficient is a complex question and i would only be happy answering it in a formal client-lawyer situation with all the facts and circumstances in front of me.
    It may also be different for different workers. For example, a secretary could potentially use public transport, but a tradie travelling out to sites in a ute or truck or van is a different question.
    Thing is, how do you tell whether or not a licence has been cancelled, for, say, demerit points or unpaid fines, just by looking at the licence?
    That's a high risk assumption. Lots of people will not reveal such things, because they don't want to lose their job.
    Refer to my answers above.
     
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  3. Keryn

    Keryn Member

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    Thanks, that's a great start for us to go forward with.
     
  4. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    Tim W makes good points. An example of which is that when I was in the used car industry in the 80s, there was a salesman at one of our yards who had been disqualified for DUI or whatever and never applied for a new one afterwards. He worked there for years, driving cars every day and no one knew he didn't have a licence.

    So annual checks would be a good idea.
     
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