Industries

HR in the motor trade

As an employer in the motor trade, you want to spend as much time as possible doing what you do best—whether that’s on the forecourt or in the garage. But when you employ other people, some issues are bound to crop up. Issues like:

  • Employee performance: what do you do if a member of staff isn’t meeting targets?
  • Pay disputes: especially when salaries are based on bonuses and commissions
  • Health & safety: with vehicles constantly on the move, you need to make sure your employees are protected

If you’re not trained in HR or employment law, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But with Peninsula’s expert help, all you need to do is concentrate on growing your business.

Situations we can help you with

Whenever our clients in the motor trade need help with their HR, employment law and health & safety issues, they can call our 24/7 advice line. We solve most cases in less than 24 hours.

Here are some of the issues we’ve helped resolve:

  • One of my mechanics has been banned from driving, so he can’t do his job properly. Can I dismiss him?

    This would be a fair reason to dismiss the mechanic, because he’d be breaking the law if he drove.

    But before you dismiss him, you should look at all the alternatives. Could you move him to another role that doesn’t involve driving? Could another employee take on his driving duties? Dismissal should be the last resort if there are no other options.

    If an employee makes a claim of unfair dismissal against you, Peninsula offers extensive tribunal support. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from research to representation.

  • A driving tracker is showing that an employee is using a company car too much for personal use. What can I do to stop this?

    Check what your rules say about the private use of company vehicles. Do they ban this completely, or do they allow for a reasonable amount of personal use? If it’s the latter, is the ‘reasonable amount’ defined?

    To avoid confusing situations like this, Peninsula can help you draft clear workplace policies. That way, employees will have no excuse for not knowing your rules and regulations.

  • An employee isn’t meeting sales targets. She says it’s because she doesn’t understand the system. What do I do?

    This sounds like a capability issue, rather than an instant disciplinary matter. We can help you conduct a capability review, where we:

    • Ask her what the exact problem is
    • Let her know she isn’t meeting targets
    • Give her a performance improvement plan that gives her a reasonable amount of time to improve
    • Ensure she gets all the necessary training and support

  • I employ mobile repairers. Do I have to pay them for travelling between jobs?

    The law treats time spent travelling between customers as working time—you should pay at least the minimum wage for this time. That said, in most cases you don’t have to pay workers for time spent travelling from home to the first customer, and from the last customer back home.

    Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how much you should be paying your employees. That’s why our employment law experts are always a phone call away.

Straight from the courtroom

Car firm justifies offering enhanced maternity pay

Ford Motor Company had a policy where maternity leave was paid at 100% basic pay for up to one year. On the other hand, employees on additional paternity leave only received the statutory rate.

A male engineer claimed sex discrimination, as he was paid less during five months of additional paternity leave than a female employee in a similar role who was on maternity leave.

The tribunal ruled in favour of Ford. The company were able to justify the difference in pay—it was part of a long-term business plan to recruit and retain more women.

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