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Covid-19 to change face of fleet compliance long-term

Changes to workplace behaviours as a result of the pandemic are likely to last for the long term, creating a ‘very different environment’ for fleet compliance according to Licence Bureau.

Licence Bureau says the change in workplace behaviours potentially brings serious implications for any business

The recently updated Department for Transport (DfT) All Change Tracker report shows many employees are looking to continue working from home long term and have low levels of interest to return to previous commuting routines.

The ‘Wave 2’ data for last summer also reveals an expectation that “corporations and government will accept a broad societal shift away from the workplace, because large scale working from home has been proven to be a viable alternative”. And it says participants predicted larger societal changes with workplaces becoming less central to working life and to cities, with levels of commuting becoming much lower.

While this is expected to bring a better work–life balance, Licence Bureau says the changes from the pandemic are amplifying the challenges and importance of fleet compliance.

It adds that the change in workplace behaviours potentially brings serious implications for any business. This is not only due to risk management and Duty of Care obligations but also the little-known fact that ‘cause or permit to drive’ legislation means that penalties can be duplicated for fleet managers should employers request employees to visit the office – which in many cases may no longer be deemed as their ‘place of work’; something that Licence Bureau had already warned about six months ago.

But while the impact of the pandemic has had a major influence on the activity and requirements of fleet operators, there have been significant advancements in online compliance capabilities. For example at Licence Bureau, its compliance journey is now integrated into TTC Group’s real time risk management platform TTC Continuum providing clients with a holistic and, crucially, remote solution to compliance, risk, and learning. Such developments can help fleets stay abreast of current and future challenges to fleet compliance.

Steve Pinchen, sales director of Licence Bureau, said: “Without doubt, these past 12 months will have a significant long-term impact on business driving across policies, procedures and practices.

“Not only has Covid-19 changed the requirements for many, but so too now comes a clear intent to alter how we impact the environment – the mass adoption of EVs being a key part of that. And already this is altering how businesses and drivers view ownership.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.