Unauthorised use of company vehicle

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WellyElla

Free Member
Aug 17, 2014
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Hello all

I am after a bit of advise as I have scoured the internet and can't find anything surprisingly!

We have a small business which requires an employee to have a company vehicle. We took on our first employee 2 months ago (he is still in probation) and after strong suspicions that he was constantly turning up to customers late and leaving work early, we advised him we would be getting a tracker installed on his vehicle, which we had done last week.

His contract states that the company vehicle is only for business miles as he opted for that due to the tax implications etc. It has become apparent this weekend though that he is using the vehicle for private use and thrashing the living daylights out of it! Obviously there are the insurance issues with this, alongside the tax side of things, and using the vehicle without consent. Can't quite believe he is doing it when he knew it was being fitted - unless he thought we were bluffing!

I am going to have a meeting with him this week and put this to him but I feel I should 'charge' him for the private mileage he is doing. And now that the tracker system shows that the vehicle has been used out of working hours, will we now have to advise HMRC?

Many thanks
 

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
You need to have a meeting with him and dismiss him. Forget about charging for private mileage. He is arriving late, leaving early and using the business vehicle for his own purposes. You do not need this employee. Dismiss him on the spot at the meeting, take the keys off him at that point . It is up to you whether you pay him his notice money, which will be a week or whatever is in his contract, if more, but you would be justified in summary dismissal under these circumstances.
 
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David Griffiths

Free Member
Jun 21, 2008
11,353
3,561
Cwmbran
www.4growth.biz
He was probably thinking it was the kind of tracker that is activated when the vehicle is stolen. Looks like he's in for a shock

There are more issues here than simply unauthorised use of the vehicle - turning up late and knocking off early. If he's doing that when he's on probation, then for me it's time to get rid and cut your losses. A probationary period is to give you time to see if the employee is up to the job. I think that's pretty clear
 
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WellyElla

Free Member
Aug 17, 2014
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0
46
Thank you. Until yesterday it was all merely a suspicion, but last night those suspicions were confirmed when I looked at the vehicle log and was seething!

Back to the drawing board and recruiting again for me! It seems decent employees aren't that easy to find, but once you get one, they're worth their weight in gold!
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
Incidentally, as I understand the rules, if he is taking the vehicle home overnight, he is liable for tax on the car irrespective of whether he has signed to say he only uses it for work. Is it a car or a van, as different rules apply.
 
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HRinMinutes

Free Member
Jul 21, 2014
103
21
Is there some other reason why you are not considering dismissal here as the first thing to do? I ask as your post shows a fundamental breach of contract and gross misconduct but you are looking at insurance and tax implications?
 
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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
Using the vehicle to and from work is personal use (unless the home is the registered business address). You have the evidence to dismiss him as his still in probation on the grounds of gross miss conduct.

Not if it's a van. The rules differ quite a lot.
 
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WellyElla

Free Member
Aug 17, 2014
9
0
46
Hi

We are going to dismiss him, but we discovered this at the weekend and we can't meet with him until today so part of my concern is regarding HMRC. If they were to look into vehicle useage and discover he had been using it constantly for private use, who would be liable for the tax, him or us?

Thanks everyone.
 
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E

EqualityPays

Hi,

I agree with everyone else. Its reasonable to dismiss him for failing probation on the basis of leaving work early (on false pretences) and using a company vehicle for personal use. Even if he had passed his probation that would be classed as gross misconduct and therefore a sackable offence. In relation to HMRC, declare it to them. That way you'd be covered anf would have peace of mind.

Hope you have better luck with your next recruitment drive!
 
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