For employers, checking the licence status of employees that operate a vehicle or machinery for any business purpose is essential. This is not limited to drivers or machine operators either – it can include anyone driving a company car, contractors who transport goods, and even employees or volunteers driving people for business-related purposes.
The first step is to ensure all relevant applicants have a current and valid licence as required during the selection, recruitment and onboarding process. In a candidate driven labour market, it’s understandable that business owners want to keep things moving to secure top talent. The downside of this, however, is that important steps can be missed or overlooked.
There are a variety of issues that can arise if employees do not have the correct licences, not least putting themselves and others at risk of harm or injury. Employees who are caught operating vehicles or machinery without a current and valid licence are not only breaking the law, but are also in breach of WHS laws which can result in significant fines for the business and a shut down in production in serious cases – a costly consequence and unfortunately something that occurs.
To avoid these instances, we recommend the following when selecting, recruiting and onboarding new employees who require a licence as part of their role:
- Confirm with candidates during the screening process that they have a valid and current licence as required for the role.
- Request copies of any required licence prior to making an offer of employment.
- Include a provision in the offer letter that employment is subject to the candidate having a valid and current licence as required for the role.
- Ensure the original licence is cited at the interview or on the new starters first day.
- Conduct a DOT licence check for further confirmation.
It’s also important to remember that the licence statuses of existing employees can and do change. To ensure existing employees have a current and valid licence as required for their role, we recommend the following:
- Include a provision in the employment contract, relevant policy and employee handbook that employees who are required to have a licence to drive a vehicle or operate machinery must advise management if their licence status changes immediately.
- Ensure the original licence is cited upon renewal or when a new licence is obtained, and a copy is kept on the employee file.
- Keep a record of licence expiration dates for all relevant employees in order to keep track of renewal dates, ensuring employees have a current and valid licence at all times.
- Ensure all record keeping of private and sensitive employee information is done so in accordance with applicable privacy rules and regulations.
Have you got measures in place to ensure all new starters have a valid and current licence where required? Are your existing employees up-to-date with their licence renewals? Ensure your business is safe and compliant, get in touch with our team for an obligation free chat.
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