GREYFLEET SYSTEM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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1 GREYFLEET SYSTEM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS This list of questions and answers has been put together based on feedback from various meetings with NHS staff and managers. The questions are in no particular order. Q. Which staff does this policy apply to? This policy applies to all staff employed by NLG. Q. Why is the Trust implementing Greyfleet? The first reason is that the Trust has a legal responsibility (duty of care) to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the safety of employees when they are driving. This includes making sure that the car is suitable for the work and that it is safe and serviceable; a privately owned car that is used at work is classed as a company car. The Trust must also ensure that the driver has the correct documentation including insurance for using the car in connection with their employment. In addition, the Trust must also take reasonable care when planning journeys, which must include a risk assessment. The second reason is that the Trust has an obligation to reduce carbon emissions and transport is an area where government is placing a great deal of emphasis. New cars emit significantly less carbon then older cars. A Ford Fiesta travelling 5,000 business miles per annum emits 1.11 tonnes of carbon each year on average, compared to 1.53 tonnes for a 4 year old Ford Fiesta. If this reduction is typical of all private cars used at work, the Trust would reduce its carbon footprint by over 300 tonnes each year which is equal to a 27% reduction. Q. What is the employee s obligation? Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employees, who drive at work should co-operate with their employer to enable their employer to comply with their Health and Safety duties. In this respect they should take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who might be affected by their actions, and they must comply with Road Traffic Acts and the Highway Code and use equipment provided to them correctly. Q. What is the extra cost of using my private car at work? Most people buy a car for their own private use and not for their employer s business use. Therefore, the cost of the car and the depreciation has already been paid for. In addition, the Road Fund Licence, MOT and servicing are also necessary for the private use, with little extra cost if the car used at work. When a car is used for work drivers will only have to pay an small extra amount for insurance and there will be additional maintenance costs for the extra wear and tear of the car. As an example, AA Insurance allows approximately 6p per mile for a medium-size family car. The largest additional work cost is fuel for business use which would be in the region of 9p-12p per mile. Therefore, the additional cost of using a privately owned car for work is between 15p-18p per mile. Public Transport Rate is 24p per mile and it should cover the costs for most reasonably sized cars for business use. 1

2 Q. If I am travelling less than 3,500 business miles, will I continue to receive Regular Car User allowance? If you meet the criteria for a regular car user as defined in the NHS Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions of Service Section 17 you may be offered a lease car. You can continue to claim regular user allowance until you are offered a lease car. Q. Can a driver refuse to register with Greyfleet? Only cars that are approved to be used at work can access the online mileage and expenses system. If you refuse to register your car you will NOT be permitted to use your car at work and you will not receive any reimbursement for fuel or mileage expenses. Q. How do I register my car? You can register your car on-line by logging into the following websites or The first time you log in you will need to sign up and you will be sent a password. This will take you to the secure members section of the site where you can access a number of facilities and benefits. You can also look at the Trust s Travel and Lease Car Policy and Procedures, the Trust s Driver s Handbook and the Highway Code. Q. Will the registration take long? The register is divided into sections where you can provide your personal details and the details of your car. You do not need to complete the register in one session you can go back. If you have all the information to hand, it should take no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. You will need to have the following documents available before you complete the register: your driving licence, insurance certificate and insurance schedule, MOT and Road Fund Licence. Travel allowances will not be paid until a car has been successfully registered on the Greyfleet Register. Q. How safe is my data? All your personal information is held within the password protected members section of the website. The data is encrypted and is stored on a dedicated file server in a high security data centre. The information can only be accessed via an encrypted and password protected protocol. The server and the website have been expertly tested and security meets the NHS data security and information governance policy. No data will be provided to any third party organisation other than those required under law and no organisation has access to the file server. The data will not be copied to any hard disc or other media and will not be passed by post or courier. The data will only be used for the purpose of managing the operational road risk whilst you use your own car at work. You can request the data to be deleted at anytime, however you will not be entitled to claim any allowances if deleted. Q. Will I pay tax on the mileage allowance paid for using my own car? If you receive regular user allowance or standard user allowance you will already be paying tax on any amount you are receiving over the Inland Revenue Authorised Mileage Rate (currently 40p per mile). If you receive Public Transport Rate you can claim a tax rebate on the difference between 24p and 40p. If you pay tax at the standard rate of 20% this will be 3.2p per mile and if you pay tax at 40% it will be 6.4p per mile. This means that your gross mileage allowance will be 27.2p or 30.4p respectively. 2

3 Q. How do I claim the tax relief? At the end of each tax year we will send you an Inland Revenue form showing the number of miles and the amount that you have claimed during the year. You can then send this form to your local tax office and they will advise you of your new tax coding, which will vary the amount of tax that is deducted from your salary. Q. What if I do not have the correct insurance cover for the Trust s business use? If you cannot upgrade your cover you can purchase your insurance through the Trust. There are three options available: 1. You can join the Trust Fleet Insurance and pay a monthly contribution through your salary; or, 2. You can apply for a quote under the NHS car insurance scheme which is similar to your current arrangement but includes all necessary cover for business use and is protected against cancellation. Q. How will I know if I have the correct cover? This is an area that causes a great deal of confusion and unfortunately there is no simple answer because all insurance policies use different definitions. Most policies contain a statement to the effect that the policy covers social, domestic and pleasure purposes and the policy holder s business. The reference to policy holders business in this respect means your business and not your employer s business. To complicate matters further, there is no standard insurance industry definition that covers the use for your employer s business. You must provide confirmation from your insurance company that their definition covers your employer s business and commuting. As a general guide, the certificate should include the statement: o o for use in connection with your employers business for your employment Q. What home to base travel can be claimed for? Will I be paid if I go to my base for additional work e.g. overtime or on-call in own car? Agenda for Change does allow mileage reimbursement for certain journeys between home and work. However, the Inland Revenue classifies all home to work journeys as private mileage and this means, in the case of a private car, that the allowances will be taxed on the full amount at source. In the case of lease cars this will mean that a fuel scale charge will apply and because of this liability claims for home to work journeys are not permitted. The journeys that can be claimed in a private car are those that are over and above that which is normal attendance i.e. when overtime may be paid or time off in lieu could be granted for eligible staff, then home to duty travel can be claimed. The important factor is that more money is spent on travel than would normally be the case. This would include the following instances: Where an extra day or days are worked (e.g. Saturdays or Sundays to cover events) 3

4 Where the employee needs to make an exceptional journey home during the day before returning to base. Where the employee is on-call and needs as a result of a call to attend their workbase. Simply working longer during a normal day will not qualify an employee to be reimbursed for home to base travel (or vice versa) as no extra travelling cost is incurred. Journeys claimed will be reimbursed at Public Transport Rate and will be taxed. Q. Do I pay tax on my Regular Car User Allowance? Yes! You currently pay tax on any amount you receive over 40p per mile. This figure is set by the Inland Revenue and is called the authorised mileage rate (AMR). The tax is calculated by converting you allowance to pence per mile and deducting the 40p threshold; you then pay tax on the balance. Example: If you drive a 1600cc car for 400 miles per month you will receive lump sum plus 44p per mile. Tax is paid at 20% on the profit over 40p per mile. 400 miles x 44p = = The total allowance is divided by 400 = 59.83p per mile. Therefore, there is a profit of 19.83p per mile and the tax is 3.97p per mile or per month on the total, at the basic rate. The Inland Revenue is currently reviewing the authorised mileage rate (AMR) which is currently at 40p per mile. Indications are that, in future, this will be based on CO2 emissions and will reduce significantly to encourage owner drivers to buy newer cars or join company car schemes. At present, employees pay tax on the profit element above 40p. Please find below a link direct to the current fuel rates: Q. If my vehicle was refused by the Greyfleet system would it void my insurance in the case of an accident? If your vehicle was refused by the Greyfleet system, the insurance company may void the insurance policy in the case of an accident. This is due to the fact that from the view of the insurer, we do not deem your vehicle acceptable for business use. Initially, all vehicles are being accepted upon the sign up to the Greyfleet system but they may be declined in the future. Q. Is somebody available for questions over the telephone? What is the contact number? The Trust s Transport Manager will be able to provide guidance and queries for any questions and/or queries. This is currently Jug Johal, Head of Transport, car parking and security, based at Cliff Gardens Scunthorpe and his contact details are: Telephone: extension 3425 Q Does this change affect my pay and working conditions. Allowances under the Travel & Car Leasing Policy are designed to reimburse employees for expenses incurred in business travel and any changes or amendments do not therefore affect employees pay and working conditions. 4

5 Q. When can business mileage be claimed, either at the Standard Rate, Passenger Transport Rate or Fuel Reimbursement Rate? Business mileage can be claimed where an employee makes a journey other than their normal home to base commuting journey on a normal work day, as follows: Where an employee visits their normal place of work at some point during the day, then the total mileage will be recorded, the normal home to base mileage will be deducted and the remaining mileage can be claimed as business mileage. Employees that are required to attend one or more temporary work places and have no requirement to visit their normal place of work at all during that day can claim the full return journey as business mileage on the proviso that it is the employee s responsibility to provide justification for not attending their normal place of work during the day. All such journeys must be agreed with line managers in advance or on the next working day when a full day away is not planned. Q. Why can't all current regular users remain as regular users? If you were an employee before 15th June 1992, you will continue to be able to claim Regular Car User allowance so long as you remain in the same post or voluntarily accept a lease car. This also applies to consultant medical staff employed before 31 st March Other regular car users will be able to claim Regular Car User allowance until they are offered a lease car and have had enough time to obtain quotations and consider whether to take up the offer. Q. The Trust Policy says that passengers who are not employees of the Trust must be subject to a risk assessment before being transported and patients must be capable of consenting to be transported in the vehicle. Transportation of passengers should be on an exceptional basis and be necessary and an essential part of the job. All vehicles must hold insurance cover to include the transportation of patients. What does this mean? This is relevant where an employee s car, either leased or owned, is being used for business to carry as passengers those who are not employees, e.g. patients. The Trust has a legal obligation to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees whilst at work, and passengers may in some cases represent a risk to the driver of the vehicle, as well as other road users. Therefore, it is important that these risks are considered and mitigated wherever possible. It is preferable that patients are not carried as passengers, but if they do need to be, the vehicle that they are being carried in will need appropriate insurance, which will automatically be included with lease vehicles. For help on insurance matters, please contact the Transport Manager. Q the amount of information demanded borders on the ridiculous and needs to be drastically reduced? The reason why this information is requested is to enable a suitable risk assessment to be undertaken. The amount of information requested is kept to a minimum and the type of information required may change as circumstances change. 5

6 Q Why is a risk assessment necessary? Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Trust has a responsibility to manage health and safety effectively. This requires the Trust to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of its employees, while they are at work, and to other people who may be affected by their work activities. The Regulations require the Trust to periodically review the risk assessment so that it remains appropriate. Risk assessments for any work-related driving activity should follow the same principles as risk assessments for any other work activity. The failure to properly manage work-related road safety is more likely to endanger other people than a failure to properly manage risks in the workplace. To enable the Trust to meet these requirements it must hold and maintain a register of all employees that travel in the course of their work and details of all vehicles used at work. The Trust must be satisfied that vehicles are fit for the purpose for which they are used, they must be properly maintained and be in a safe and fit condition. It must also ensure that any goods and equipment that are required to be carried can be safely and properly secured. The Trust must be satisfied that drivers health, and possibly safety, is not being put at risk, e.g. from inappropriate seating position or driving posture. Q What happens to the risk assessment? The risk assessment is broken down into three sections; Vehicle, Driver and Documentation which are scored separately and graded into four categories, Low, Medium, Med High and High. Those that are deemed to be Med- high or high risk will be reviewed and an Improvement Plan will be drawn up in-line with the Trust Managing Occupational Road Risk policy (under review). An example of how the risk maybe reduced is attending a classroom based driver training workshop. Q Why details of private mileage, mobile phone hands free kit and satellite navigation and breakdown cover? The mileage that a car has travelled is one indication of condition and high mileage cars can be a greater risk than low mileage cars. We ask for an estimate of the private mileage because the odometer reading will only tell us what mileage has been completed at a point in time but an estimated private mileage will tell us what mileage may be expected in the future. The Trust also has an obligation to reduce its carbon footprint and the greyfleet is a key contributor to high levels of CO₂. An older high mileage car will produce could produce 30% more CO₂ emissions than a new car and it will also produce other pollutants such as unburned engine oil etc. Many NHS staff work in the community and in some cases this will be in remote areas where phone coverage is poor and it is easy to get lost. Managers are directly responsible for employees that they send into these areas and they must ensure that they are as safe as possible; having this information available will help them plan and make contact if necessary. Many greyfleet cars do not have any breakdown cover and if they breakdown or have an accident, in a remote area or on a motorway, the Trust must ensure that they can be provided with immediate assistance. The Greyfleet scheme provides all drivers, who do not have breakdown cover, with a corporate membership of the AA. This means that the AA will attend the breakdown on a pay as you use basis. 6

7 The information collected will help line managers assess the risks involved with sending staff into remote areas. Satellite navigation will assist in journey planning because the devise will direct drivers to specific locations by reference to an address or postcode. In comparison a map will help with directions between towns and villages and can be useful when you are lost; Satellite navigation will avoid getting lost. Requesting information about hands free kits does not mean that we condone their use whilst driving but they are more useful when giving and receiving instructions when parked, because it leaves the employee free to take notes etc. If a manager knows the driver does not have a hands free kit they know that they should never call them in case they are driving. 7

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