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Butler Attorney: What You Need To Be Aware Of When Driving During Your Work Hours

How employees commute to work can have a huge impact on their life and work balance, which makes it essential for businesses to have procedures and policies created and to make sure that employees understand what their rights are. Were you aware that some car insurance companies don’t provide cover for trips made during work hours? So if you get involved in a car accident during your work hours, you might need to pay for the expenses on your own. Rights related to commuting to work normally are detailed in your contract. However, this is an area where many employees are not aware of the potential high risks that they face. If you are unsure of these risks, you may want to seek assistance from a Butler attorney. The following are answers to some of the main questions that employee have regarding travel during working hours.

Is Commuting To An Office Considered To Be Working Time?

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When a worker is driving to a non-fixed workplace, time spent traveling is categorized as being working working time. There was a court case recently, where it was argued that, due to the fact that the workplace varied depending on customer appointments, that require travel time may not be considered as a rest period. There were ramifications to this decision, since Working Time Regulations must now be adopted as well as the Working Time Directive in order to make sure they comply with this decision. However, for individuals who travel to one or more fixed locations, traveling to their workplace is still considered to be part of their working day. Employees might not be aware of that, which means it is very important for the company documents to outline it. Some business might make the decision to pay for travel, however, it is completely their choice. Any trips that are made outside of normal working hours may also entitle employees to be paid for it, although the precise terms for it need to stipulate in the contract. If you travel during working hours on a regular basis and aren’t sure if you are covered or not, be sure to speak to both your insurance company and employer to get clarification.

Which Policies Should Be Introduced By Companies In Order To Protect Employees?

In order for employees to what their rights are regarding insurance, clear rules and guidelines need to be put in place by companies in order to reduce chances of accidents occurring around or in a workplace. Risk assessments should be introduced by companies for trips away from the workplace, where all potential hazards that travelers might face are considered. It will vary greatly depending on how long the journey is, the destination, and individuals involved. For examples, employees who have health issues may need extra support for reaching a destination, or maybe there is a transportation disruption being faced at the destination. All of these factors need to be considered before finalizing a trip. In general, companies need to check on all of the cars that are driven to work to make sure they are checked on a regular basis for potential problems and properly insured.

What Additional Steps Can Companies Take To Improve Their Employees Well-Being Who Are Driving To Work?

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In addition to checking to make sure that all cars are in good road condition and are insured, employees also can play an important role in making sure that work travel is more enjoyable and easier for employees. Free eye tests and health insurance can make a huge difference to helping to ensure that staff are happy, productive, and healthy. Managers should have open conversations with employees about any problems they might be having, since they can potentially be exacerbated when too much time is spent traveling. Even small changes like allowing employers to finish or start later or earlier in the day can help to boost productivity and make travel a lot easier for them. Another way that well-being can be improved is to get a car-share scheme set up, where employees are able to benefit from perks such as designated car park spaces when they bringing other employees to work with them. That can help to reduce employee driving time and let them share in fuel expenses as well.

Using Cell Phones And How They Affect Your Driving

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Businesses often provide a company cell phone to their employees so that they can be reached by other employees or clients while they are out of the office. That can make good sense from a business perspective. The employee can freely leave the office without being afraid of missing any important calls. It also increases overall efficiency, which is always good for employers. However, sometimes providing an employee with a cell phone means that driving time turns into another work place, with the cell phone being an added distraction. If an accident were to occur, then anyone who seeks compensation can potentially have a case they can take against the employer.

Utilizing Your Pager While Driving Means What?

Although pagers may not be as distracting as cell phone are, they can still create legal issues for a company. If an employee is provided with a beeper and they are required to respond to page, then the employee may be considered to be “on call,” and “on the job,” even during non-working hours. When an employee is considered to be on call while traveling, they might be considered to be acting on their employment’s behalf, which could result in the company being liable for any mishaps that were to arise during this time.

Non-Designated Drivers

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A majority of companies thoroughly investigate their on-the-job drivers, like truck drivers and delivery people. However, they often overlook smaller errands that sometimes non-insured employees like office workers are sent on. Although errands like sending someone to go get coffee might seem trivial and an efficient way of getting things done, employers need to consider the potential legal dangers that are involved. If an accident is caused by one of the company’s delivery drivers, then the company might be charged with damages, however, most likely the insurance company will cover a majority of it.

A Butler Attorney Explains What Your Next Steps Should Be?

If you commute to work and aren’t sure how laws apply to you, then make an appointment to speak to someone in the HR department of your company. They should be able to help clarify what your workplace regulations are and answer whatever questions you have. In addition to this, make sure you also contact your insurance company to make sure you are covered for driving during your work hours. Putting in a little effort now can potentially make a huge difference if in the future you should end up being involved in any type of accident.