Having an employee found to be driving over the limit is the time to take a deep breath. As an employer, when you get this news, pause! Think before you react. What you do or say now is critical, it may come back to bite you if you’re not careful.
Over the festive period everybody’s out celebrating. Even though there’s plenty of publicity about drink driving, some people still take a chance. Some people don’t think about the morning after. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to have an employee found to be driving over the limit the morning after they’ve been celebrating. When they give you the news what do you do?
Your reaction will probably depend on whether or not your employee’s job involves them driving on business. Those employees who drive as part of their job are the biggest challenge for you as their employer.
The penalty an employee found guilty of driving over the limit may get is up to the magistrates who hear their case, and depends on the offence.
Driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink may mean that the employee gets:
- 6 months’ imprisonment
- an unlimited fine
- a driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)
Clarify whether the employee is telling you they have been stopped and is likely to be appearing in court or was the employee found to be driving over the limit by the court and is now facing penalties?
Take Care that you don’t overreact
If they haven’t yet been convicted of an offence take care that you don’t over react. If you dismiss the employee before the court reaches a conclusion, you risk dismissing the employee prematurely. Imagine, you dismissed an employee for driving over the limit when the court found that they weren’t over the limit? That’s a whole new set of problems! You’ve potentially dismissed an employee for something they’ve not done.
- understand the circumstances and the severity of the charges
- inform your insurers of the situation
- consider alternative duties that you can temporarily give them
- arrange a disciplinary hearing to consider the evidence available.
Do you have an employee found to be driving over the limit ? Do you need some advice on how to handle the situation? Then call Metis HR now on 01706 565 332 or email us to arrange a confidential, no obligation initial consultation.