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Click and collect van running

Started by dfl, 08-04-24, 07:04PM

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dfl

Just had a guy speaking to my colleague and point out that they were breaking the law with having
A click and collect van running whilst working on click and collect, the van was idling which was to try and get some heat in it as it was cold for the employee, they said to me they did this and that most of the drivers do and this has been largely the case since the vans no longer have small diesel heaters in them, the employee was getting read the riot act about the van running being illegal, using fuel, and being unattended, employee did point out to me that when the guy walked toward the van the employee immediately politely challenged what he was after.

He was quite threatening towards the employee using terms such as gross misconduct, asking where the keys were (employee though they were still in van in heat of moment but checked when guy left, they were remote fobs and employee had them in their pocket)

Is the employee likely to be sacked ?
DFL

FarmerFred

The legality is that under The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 Section 107 it is unlawful to leave a vehicle unattended on a public road whilst the engine is running. The two key aspects to consider are what constitutes unattended and what's a public road.  Contrary to what you may logically think, a supermarket car park can be considered a public road in that the road elements are publicly accessible. The issue of being in attendance is a bit thorny because the strictest interpretation is that a licensed driver must be in the driving seat, but the wording of the regulations does not explicitly state that and so it can be possible to argue the point if the driver was in close proximity; it is worth noting however that a driver exiting a running vehicle is an instant fail on a driving test.  Plod normally treat it as a case of giving advice unless there's a good reason to do otherwise, in which case it's a Fixed Penalty Notice & no points.

It's unlikely to result in a sacking assuming a complaint is even put in. Most likely outcome is a let's talk.

dfl

I spoke to said employee again and they said when the guy asked where is the keys they had no intention of telling the guy where they were as at that point there was no clue of if he was a tesco employee or a member of the public although from the description i was given it would seem likely as the guy was asking about why it wasnt plugged in, how many pickups left and several other questions that i suspect would only come from someone with tesco knowledge, but quite right saying where the keys were could have in worst case been someone wanting keys to steal the van for all the employee knew, dont think this is likely myself tho
DFL

dfl

Is there anyone on here that knows where it could be written that this is gross misconduct ? I've looked and cant find anything
DFL

ImBackBaby

Quote from: dfl on 09-04-24, 02:29PMIs there anyone on here that knows where it could be written that this is gross misconduct ? I've looked and cant find anything
It wouldn't be anything as the van is being used for click & collect. All your colleague had to say was "have an issue contact Tesco" or "The van has a fitted run lock to allow for the engine to run without the key for safe storage of temperature controlled goods" Not all click and collect vans have generators or run locks fitted, so the engine is just left to run. Tell your colleague not worry about it, and if there is any grieve from it, tell them to tell there manager they wont be doing the role in cold weather if we are not allowed to keep warm. 

This feeling the need to explain ourselves to other people who have f*** all business knowing needs to be knocked on the head. Bit like a women who approached me years ago questing why I was parked in her street... none your business Karen, jog on. Ohhh her response was "Im a Tesco Customer I have the right to know".... nah ya dont feck off.

dfl

#5
It appears it was actually a tesco employed person who witnessed and bollocked this person for idling the van (driving safety officer I've been informed), the employee who idled the van wasnt in it at the time but was only 10 feet away with the van in plain sight and being watched, i do know for a fact tho that in that store most of the drivers idle the van for heat, not always tho to be fair, i couldnt say if they get out of the van at any point, in fact i have also heard them being told by management not to switch one van off recently as the battery/alternator wasnt working properly in it.

Also noted the legislation and a comment in here infers that not being in the driving seat does not necessarily mean the van was unnattended.

Also idling only becomes an offence if an authorised person (police for example) request the driver to cut the engine and they then refuse to do so
Any further comments i can pass on would be welcome, the employee is worried sick and i have no idea what to tell them
DFL

lucgeo

@dfl...is there anything in the training that covers engine idling?

If there is and it specifically states it is against policy, then it's a misconduct issue, but only if the colleague has signed off on that training, and even then a first time offence so should be a retraining requirement.
The fact it's regular practice amongst all the drivers and the vans are not heating to the acceptable working temperature, should all be brought in as mitigating circumstances.

If there is no mention or guidance on idling, then there's no case to answer.
 
It may well be that it's new road vehicles Vehicle idling is an offence against the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002, but if this hasn't been highlighted in the training, they can't expect a driver to be clued up on every regulation in force. Any more than anybody who drives.
Hell I'd even throw in that this jumped up jobs worth gave the impression the store is operating below standards...if nothing else it'll get the store managers back up and throw it out just to prove a point!  ;)
Live for today. Learn from yesterday.

dfl

#7
@lucgeo I've not been able to find anything including a handbook, i may not be searching properly, i can say since this happened i havent heard that the employee has yet been pulled up by manager or store manager, i did on the employees behalf check out click and collect over last couple of days since it happened and in both occasions i checked the van was idling with other employees on duty at it, so basically gathering evidence, i think from gathering this info i can easily suggest to the employee if they get any further action to let management know they have proof its still happening since this event that idling has occurred without any conversation being had with the other employees that are guilty of same, i wont give names tho and will not be giving any times and dates, thats up to tesco management to make sure they look at it in order to treat all employees the same

Thanks you for the helpful reply
DFL

ImBackBaby

Quote from: dfl on 09-04-24, 03:14PMIt appears it was actually a tesco employed person who witnessed and bollocked this person for idling the van (driving safety officer I've been informed), the employee who idled the van wasnt in it at the time but was only 10 feet away with the van in plain sight and being watched, i do know for a fact tho that in that store most of the drivers idle the van for heat, not always tho to be fair, i couldnt say if they get out of the van at any point, in fact i have also heard them being told by management not to switch one van off recently as the battery/alternator wasnt working properly in it.

Also noted the legislation and a comment in here infers that not being in the driving seat does not necessarily mean the van was unnattended.

Also idling only becomes an offence if an authorised person (police for example) request the driver to cut the engine and they then refuse to do so
Any further comments i can pass on would be welcome, the employee is worried sick and i have no idea what to tell them
Driving safety officer? No such job exists

dfl

Quote from: ImBackBaby on 10-04-24, 04:34PM
Quote from: dfl on 09-04-24, 03:14PMIt appears it was actually a tesco employed person who witnessed and bollocked this person for idling the van (driving safety officer I've been informed), the employee who idled the van wasnt in it at the time but was only 10 feet away with the van in plain sight and being watched, i do know for a fact tho that in that store most of the drivers idle the van for heat, not always tho to be fair, i couldnt say if they get out of the van at any point, in fact i have also heard them being told by management not to switch one van off recently as the battery/alternator wasnt working properly in it.

Also noted the legislation and a comment in here infers that not being in the driving seat does not necessarily mean the van was unnattended.

Also idling only becomes an offence if an authorised person (police for example) request the driver to cut the engine and they then refuse to do so
Any further comments i can pass on would be welcome, the employee is worried sick and i have no idea what to tell them
Driving safety officer? No such job exists
Thats what i was told when i made enquiries, apparently was in for some other issue that happened months ago with a van accident
DFL

dfl

Update :- investigation letter issued
DFL

kaled78

Crazy this is happening,the drivers always leave the vans running in our store,usually with music blaring out as well,whilst they wander off to get more trays to load from inside the store

dfl

#12
And at our store i know this happens all the time too, i mean idling, could be gleaned from lightfoot for all the other occurences, also as i work there too I've seen 2 vans with loads on at the click and collect station but only one plug point, the only way to have both running to keep stock at temp is to have 1 plugged in and the other running, so surely by definition this is company encouraged idling
DFL

dfl

Would it be the right approach when the employee goes to the investigation that the companies side of the story should be laid bare before the employee does same ?
DFL

lucgeo

Yes the colleague should be made aware of the reason for the investigation prior to the meeting to discuss and read their case with their representative, usually 15 mins is considered appropriate, but that would depend on the complexity of the investigation.

Is the colleague a union member?
Live for today. Learn from yesterday.

dfl

#15
@lucgeo no the collegue isnt a member, I've been trying to help as best i can, it would seem tho that a van not attended as per handbook and relevant laws does not mean driver has to be in the cab, consensus seems to be that if van is in direct line of sight and not to far away that any attempt on it or its contents could be challenged swiftly, I've been assured that the position in which this employee was outside of the van they could actually see both click and collect vans at the area (driver was using the second one to fill with empty trays to return into store), from what I've seen being in the cab would have actually made it harder to see both. Also idling is done at this store (at least till now anyway) on a regular basis, i actually checked 3 seperate days after this and did indeed see van idling on 2 of those occasions. Also employee is taking another driver with him to the investigation who is aware of the idling that has been pretty much the normal custom and practice on most days
DFL

lucgeo

Ok as it's an investigation this should be the initial stage where the management case of misconduct is put forward. The colleague should be presented with the allegations before the meeting so he can prepare his defence.

There will be a manager taking the meeting and a note taker, the note taker is there to take notes only, not to ask question or have any verbal input into the investigation...if this is breached the colleague can object and have his objections noted. If it continues he can adjourn the meeting and raise a grievance.

As he is not a union member, he can have a trusted colleague (such as yourself) as his "chosen representative". Now the manager will say that his chosen representative is there to witness and take notes but is not permitted to speak in the meeting...this is incorrect.

His chosen representative has the same rights as a union rep as they are there in the capacity as a chosen representative, so they can ask questions but cannot answer questions directed to the colleague or speak instead of the colleague unless explicitly asked to by the colleague to speak on his behalf beforehand.
His chosen representative is to be afforded the same respect and courtesy as a member of equal standing to the manager as that afforded to a union rep.

During this investigation the colleague can make clear that the idling of vans is a normal practice amongst the drivers, and he has not been made aware at any time prior to this investigation of the contrary.
He can produce the names of all the other drivers and colleagues in his department who are aware of this practice or operate with their vans idling, the reasons why and the challenges the drivers face which requires the practice of idling.

This should just be the first stage of the investigation, the manager then needs to adjourn to investigate further and speak to the other drivers to obtain their statements.
At the end of the meeting the note taker and manager will sign and date as adjourned, the colleague and representative will sign at the bottom only AFTER they have read the notes, raised any issue to irregularities in the notes, then sign the bottom ensuring that any space between the last paragraph and signature has a snake like line through to assure no extra words can be added at a later date.
Live for today. Learn from yesterday.

dfl

#17
@lucgeo not so sure id expect the employee would name every driver who does it, im more likely to suggest that they instead tell management to cross check their sds use with lightfoot if that makes sense, if it was me i would feel bad about such naming and shaming and the info about who does it shouldnt be hard for management to obtain unless of course they want to sweep these facts under the carpet
DFL

lucgeo

It may just start off informally as an investigation with no notes taken just to ascertain the facts...but rule of thumb is if there's 2 of them then it's 2 of you!

He doesn't have to name the others, but can say it's normal practice, and then the manager needs to question other employees as to whether or not it is. Only a foolish manager would put in writing that they have found no evidence of others operating the same, when it's blatantly obvious it is and can be shown to be.

If he looks at citizens advice website 'Who can accompany you to a disciplinary meeting',this will show his rights.
Live for today. Learn from yesterday.

dfl

@lucgeo the employees invitation states there will be a notetaker, we will see as im happy to go into it with them. Thanks for the heads up
DFL

dfl

#20
Well result is that it would appear that employees manager cant find any rules that have been broken but is still taking it to disciplinary hearing with store manager, how can this be right, anyone else think of a way to stop it in its tracks, personally my view is employees manager has been told there is to be disciplinary action irrespective of evidence and pressure to do so is coming from the (driver trainer it now appears is the original Complainer), wonder if acas would be interested in this or even if its a case for constructive dismissal
DFL

oldfashionedplayer

on the tesco help one rather than colleague, it says lightfoot records Idling, and also stores get a report on costs and Idling is in it, so if vans idle for more than 5 minutes it records it, and stores are marked on Green/amber/red and told to look into it... so that may be something to raise if its everyone...

as for the unattended it does say too on it of:

Any incidents where the keys are left in an unattended van will be treated as Gross Misconduct and could result in your dismissal. Remember to keep your vehicle keys with you at all times. Having a van in the hands of the wrong person could pose a real safety risk.

dfl

Keys were not in the van the employee had them on their person, the idling question never really got brought much up as i think (in fact i know) as the manager admitted it happens regularly on that job by most drivers, and me and the employee had it put in the notes, but what the manager wasnt prepared to do was accept that no rules as per the drivers handbook for "unattended" vehicles had been breached but proceeded to then further pass it to the store manager for potential disciplinary, how this can happen with no evidence of a rule breach is beyond me
DFL

oldfashionedplayer

yeah i dont get it either, may be a good case for an appeal perhaps if something does happen

dfl

#24
@oldfashionedplayer yes i agree, after the meeting the manager off record did say half of him thinks this shouldnt even be getting done, that he would be happy it coming back as no action, but he'd rather leave the decision on that to the store manager so that if the store manager agrees then its basically 2 fingers to the driving trainer who made complaint in the first place, makes it seem to me the employees manager is just too scared for some reason to grow a pair, go against the complainers wishes and dismiss it himself, and/or dish out unwarranted disciplinary to the employee, its an odd one, is there anyone else who has an idea of what could be going on eg :- driver trainer pushing for disciplinary just because he was unhappy that employee wasnt in the van even tho its been shown that unattended doesnt mean in the van and thats all the handbook says, basically driver trainer overbearing employees manager and on an ego trip.

As a side note i will be very surprised if the wording of unattended doesnt get rapidly changed in next revision of the tesco drivers handbook
DFL

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