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Job description - Car driver essential?

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August 31. 2011
Anonymous

I am a keen cyclist and ride to work on most days but my job description (as do all newly advertised jobs for my workplace) states I must drive a car and have access to a car for work purposes. I only attend external clinics about 6 times per month and each is easily accessible by walking or public transport.

My friend works for another trust and regularly interviews clinical staff where he is not allowed to ask in the recruitment process if they have a car. he can only ask that they can make arrangements to travel as the job requires (ie public transport etc). He is not allowed to do this due to policies that promote healthy and safe communities (reducing road accidents and pollution etc) and also due to improving working lives/healthy workplace policies etc designed to keep staff healthy.

Is there any legislation regarding this or could my employer discipline me if I got rid of my car?(which currently sits on the drive, costing me a fortune and doing nothing for probably 28days of the month.)

Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

August 31. 2011
Phil Walsh

Hi,

I have heard of car owner/driver qualifications being excluded under equal ops but only through the grapevine. 

I wonder if money could talk - if your manager is insisting you have car you may then ask for them to process entitilement to regular user allowances. This would give extra amount per month to you (60-70 pounds).  This on top of mileage rate can make car more expensive than other options and could persuade them that giving you the responsibility to you how to get to your meetings is the important issue.

I claim public transport/cycling and car and the system here allows that quite well.

 

 

August 31. 2011
Nigel Andrews

It would be interesting if someone applied for a job who was unable to drive due to medical or disability reasons....

How about talking to your line manager about this and suggesting a trial of one month without using a car? It would be hard for him to argue against it if you can get to all your work places reliably and on time. Alternatively do the experiment without telling him then present him with the fait accompli pointing out the lack of delays.

I am a community nurse and have been cycling to work and using a 'base' car for visits for the last 18 months, apart from ones in the same town where I do cycle and claim 10p per mile allowance. If I have an early visit I just have to ride in earlier, but I don't mind as the savings for a family going down from two cars to one are huge.

 

September 01. 2011
Glenn Stewart

Does your organisation have a policy on carbon reduction?  This is a flaw in the Person Spec, presumably the point about being a car driver is that you can get from A to B in a reasonable time. 

I would discuss it with your manager in the first instance - I have had jobs that said car driver essential but they were quite happy with me cycling.  I would also raise it with HR - 'car driver essential' is often put in without thinking and is unnecessary.  Also, be careful of KSF, I am not sure if it still does but originally it gave points for being a car driver. 

 

September 01. 2011
Kevin Wyke

Not an expert but I think the employer would be on a sticky wicket if they couldn't demonstrate that the requirement to drive (and have your own car) was essential to undertake your duties.

If you are employed on an Agenda for Change contract your terms and conditions already make allowance for reimbursement for business journeys by public transport and bike, so I think the employer would have to have to have a cast iron argument for insisting on car use to convince a tribuneral.

I also think it indicates that their underlying HR practice are discriminatory, but that's a different story

September 06. 2011
Anonymous

thanks for thoughts - all very helpful

I have found loads of helpful stuff on the NHS sustainable development website re active travel at work.

thanks again

September 09. 2011
Kevin Wyke

For anyone following the thread, you can find the NHS Sustainable Development Unit's website (mentioned above) at http://www.sdu.nhs.uk/ 

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