How to manage dismissal for misconduct due to fleet abuse

In South Africa, it’s much simpler to hire people than fire them. But, dismissal for misconduct is legitimate if certain rules, determined by the company, are transgressed. While as an HR specialist, you are aware of the general process to follow according to South African Labour Law, you may not be aware of how to manage dismissal for misconduct due to fleet abuse.

In our opinion it’s always better to empower an employee to self-correct should they be on a slippery slope to being fired. In particular, if a driver abuses his company vehicle privileges, we assist you in managing it and hopefully, prevent a dismissal for misconduct.

AARTO’s demerit point system for traffic infringements should take the responsibility away from the company.

AARTO’s new traffic violation demerit points system is set to be implemented on April 1, 2016. This will make fleet operators’ lives easier in that the traffic infringement is directed, in the form of demerits, to a particular driver. Previously, a fleet operator would receive the fine and have to redirect it through a cumbersome process to the offending driver. Disciplinary action, if necessary would follow this. On the other hand, while AARTO takes away the responsibility from the company, it is still a complex system to navigate. With Avis Fleet’s Traffic Fine Management System (TFMS) however, managing drivers’ infringements and enforcing appropriate action is easier. Essentially, the TFMS product takes the hassle out of collating data and managing drivers’ fines.

But, if the driver’s license is revoked, it affects the company

While fleet drivers become responsible for their traffic fines and infringements and not the company, if a driver racks up enough demerit points to get their license revoked, he/she can’t fulfill their duties. HR should consider educating their drivers on this possibility, and correct bad driving habits.

To stop bad driving in its tracks, consider Telematics.

Reports generated from tracker devices in vehicles now enable fleet operators to manage their drivers and address bad driving behaviour. Telematics technology gauges when a driver:

  • Speeds excessively;
  • Over-revs;
  • Idles;
  • Brakes too fast;
  • Takes inefficient routes to carry out business activities;
  • Begins and ends their journeys.

Avis Fleet’s Telematics product has the additional feature of alerting the driver if they are in excess of the speed limit, enabling the driver to self-correct. Instead of the driver racking up traffic fines and getting into trouble, this system prevents the situation from escalating. Avis Fleet also recommends driver training and setting driver guidelines. It’s always advisable to work with employees than against them.

Nip fuel card theft in the bud with Intelligent Fuel Management

Unfortunately, gross misconduct often occurs at petrol stations where fleet drivers abuse company fuel cards. Committing theft and fraud is enough to get an employee fired, and Avis Fleet’s Intelligent Fuel Management product will provide the backing data. Fuel usage data is consolidated, examined and integrated into a single report by Avis Fleet. In addition, Avis Fleet has set up a system to detect theft and fraud in real time that allows you to investigate within the first three days of a transaction taking place.

Again, prevention is better than cure and so it’s prudent to educate drivers about the dos and don’ts of fuel card use at petrol stations. Guidelines could include:

  • Fuel cards must only be used for fuel and oil.
  • Fuel tanks must be filled to the maximum.
  • Drivers must ensure the petrol pump attendant has the correct pump reading and odometer reading of the vehicle.

For more information about these management tools, download the factsheets: Telematics, IFM and TFMS.

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