MANUAL OF FLEET MANAGEMENT
Grey fleet is a term used to identify those vehicles that are employee-owned vehicles and used on company business. The management of grey fleet travel plays an important part in supporting three key policy areas of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S).
Managing the duty of care to employees driving for work is a legal requirement, and this includes employees driving their own vehicles for work. The OH&S legislation clearly states that ‘It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees.’
The reality is that if the organisation provides a vehicle, in any way shape or form, or owns the task that is being undertaken then the organisation owns the duty of care responsibility.
This issue was further reinforced by the High Court of Australia in the appeal of the case of ‘Kirk v the industrial relations court of NSW’ where the court, in its judgement, declared that this duty of care resided with the organisation alone and could not be delegated or outsourced.
This means that in incidents involving work-related journeys, even when the driver is using their own vehicle organisations will need to provide evidence that they have taken ‘reasonably practicable’ steps to manage their duty of care.
It is down to the individual organisation to assess the risks in each case and to make a judgement on what is ‘reasonably practicable’, or what actions it is reasonable to take to manage the risks in the specific circumstances.
Policies on driving for work must include driving privately owned vehicles for work. Vehicles and drivers must comply with Road Traffic Law be in a safe and roadworthy condition and fit for purpose when used for business purposes.