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Warnings ‘Gig economy’ must meet professional fleet standards

Companies operating in the ‘on demand’ gig economy must ensure vehicles and drivers are managed the same as any other grey fleet, FleetCheck has warned.

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck

Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck.

Peter Golding, FleetCheck’s managing director, said it is likely that legislation will recognise these gig economy ‘platforms’ as employers and require them to have more professional fleet operations in future. But, he added, standards vary widely today.

“I dare say we have all had a parcel or hot food delivered to our home or office, looked at the vehicle that was being used, and strongly suspected that it would not meet even the most basic fleet standards – and more often than not you discover they started early and will be driving to late in the evening,” said Golding.

“Yet legally, these are grey fleet vehicles to which normal grey fleet safety principles should apply, surrounding everything from maintenance to driver competence, as well as non-legislative corporate principles such as environmental considerations and more.”

Golding believes there should be a mechanism, such as the Heath and Safety Executive’s anonymous whistleblower system, to report obviously non-compliant drivers and vehicles. But, he said: “Perhaps the first step is to publicise the idea among gig economy workers that their employers need to be looking after their safety?”

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.