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Driving licence changes - What employer's need to know

 

As you may be aware, from the 8th June, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will become invalid and the DVLA will cease to issue this with new licences (other than exceptions in Northern Ireland).

 

As a result of changes to the recording of this information, businesses will no longer be able to rely on a visual check to ensure that their employees are qualified and legally permitted to take company vehicles on to the road.

 

So what are the options?

 

1 - Check online

 

The DVLA have introduced two new developments. The first is called ‘View My Licence’. This facility is designed for the licence holder only and replaces the information that was available to view on the counterpart. Access is prohibited only to the licence holder; this service is not designed for use by businesses.

 

The second development is called ‘Share my Record’ and allows any licence holder to create a “one off” licence check code to share their driving record with a third party, e.g. their employer or a car hire company. This code is unique and valid for 72 hours.  This means that an employer can access an individual’s record online to ensure that the driver satisfies all legal and company requirements.

 

2 - Check by post or phone

Businesses can still contact the DVLA for a check, at a cost of £5 per check, or use the call centre service which is payable using a premium rate number.  In both cases, the driver’s permission is required.

 

Businesses must make sure that anyone they employ to drive has the right licence and qualifications.  It’s clear that there are costs and time benefits of using the new online system but whatever the method used, we always recommend that employers check their drivers’ licences at the commencement of employment and as a minimum annually there afterwards.

 

More information can be found at www.gov.uk/check-driving-information

 

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We are now member of the Willis N2 Network!

We are now members of the Willis N2 Network!

View this PDF to find out more about the Willis N2 network

 

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Thaws

Now that the ice and snow are melting and the temperatures are rising, a Thaw can be as worrying as a big freeze if steps are not taken to avoid an escape of water at home and in business premises. And don’t forget, as we found last year, there’s likely to be more snow and freezing conditions to come.

Cracks in pipes and plumbing joints may not be noticeable because frozen water is keeping them sealed but as it defrosts it could cause leaks and internal floods. These may start slowly at first - almost unseen - but could lead to devastating damage and disruption. Follow our simple guide on the next page for practical help from experts.

Here are four checks that need to be made right now:

  1. Test all taps to make sure that water is free flowing. Check with a plumber if the flow is restricted or intermittent. Look for split or dripping or rusting or oxidised pipes/joints.
  2. Consider keeping heating on low at nights if your house is not fully insulated to beyond the current standards. Even if the day temperatures are milder, the nights are likely to be cold and you may not know if a cold snap hits over night.
  3. Attics and loft spaces. Check for any supply or overflow pipes that have frozen. Check cisterns for leaks. If you have water pipes or cisterns in the loft, open the loft hatch to let warm air enter the roof void during very cold spells, check lagging and insulation has not slipped or become displaced.
  4. Water isolation and shut-off valves. Know where they are, especially where the main valve is. If you need to turn it off for a single appliance, or the whole house, in an emergency make sure you and your family at home, and appropriate colleagues at work, know where the key isolation valves are and how to operate them. At home, let a friendly neighbour know when you are out for a period of time or away and where your main isolation valve is so that they can isolate the water in the event of an emergency.Test shut-off valves/stopcocks regularly to ensure that they work and do not become stiff.

 

What to do if you discover a sudden leak?

Turn off at the water isolation valve (stopcock). Put plugs in to the bath, basins and sink to capture some water and open the taps to drain down the system - making sure the bath, basins and sinks don’t overflow. The water you capture will give you a temporary supply while you await help. If damage has occurred, call your broker or insurance company and arrange professional help. If you have isolated the leak without causing any damage you may need to contact a professional plumber.

Speak to your broker to find out how an escape of water applies to your policy and for more information on the level of insurance cover you have in place and the terms and conditions of your policy.

 

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Hot tips for cold weather

Follow our 7 tips to keep your home protected during the cold weather.

 

  1. If you leave your home unattended, leave the heating on low (around 15ºc).
  2. Know where the water shut-off valve (stopcock) is to isolate the supply in an emergency.
  3. Lag pipes in the loft and check that the header and water tanks are insulated.
  4. Lag outside water taps to prevent them freezing and pipes bursting.
  5. In severe cold weather open the loft hatch to warm the void.
  6. Plastic plumbing joints will probably degrade sooner than metal ones, so keep an eye out for the slightest hint of water.
  7. If you are going to be away for an extended period, consider draining down your plumbing and heating system, but please do so with professional advice.

 

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The Insurance Act 2015 - The Duty of Disclosure and Fair Representation

 

The Insurance Act 2015 - The Duty of Disclosure and Fair Representation

 

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