To withold this information from my employers?

(51 Posts)
WelshMaenad Thu 14-Feb-13 04:49:16

Many staff at my place of work use their personal vehicles for work purposes. I completely understand, in this case, why certain information is required of them. Due to the nature of my role, and the timing of my shifts, I do not use my car in this way - I use it to commute to work, and that's all. There is no possibility of me ever having to use my car for business purposes, it just isn't in my job description.

I have been asked to supply evidence of my car insurance, a copy of my driving licence, and a copy of my vehicle MOT certificate, purely because a blanket request has been made of all staff to do so, and I am expected to comply, regardless of the fact that they do not require this information for any sane reason.

AIBU to refuse? It feels very big-brothery, thin end of the wedge-y. I have already supplied them with a lot of personal information, necessary for the CRB check that my role requires. I just think it's a bit much having to prove that my car is MOT'd when I don't use it for work and never will. Or am I being overly precious?

I would be annoyed about that too.

If you dont comply what will they do though?

TheDetective Thu 14-Feb-13 05:07:43

Just say you don't have a car. Tell them to prove you do. Or say it isn't your car and you don't have permission from the registered owner and keeper to share that information.

Or you don't have a licence or a car!

Do you park in a works car park? If you don't I'd just say that...

Or you could ask them to provide justification for the request.

Agree, it's very Big Brother. They do not need this information. Are they going to ask you to prove it every year?! confused

Seems a waste of admin.

TheFallenNinja Thu 14-Feb-13 05:18:38

Driving license I would have no problem with but insurance and MOT would seem odd. Unless you are making mileage claims it seems a bit much information

Have you asked what they are going to do with that information. I would suspect that at the back of this is a compensation claim for vehicle damage.

However, I don't suppose it really matters in the grand scheme.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Feb-13 06:10:04

YABU.... You've never used the car for business purposes but that's not to say that, at some point in the future, you might have to run an errand or something. They want to know that if you're driving on company business you're in a roadworthy car, insured and qualified to drive so that, if there are any problems, it doesn't come back to them. I don't see the problem really.

HollyBerryBush Thu 14-Feb-13 06:15:57

Are you parking on your employers premises? Perfectly reasonable request if that is the case.

sashh Thu 14-Feb-13 06:32:04

Tell them they are breaking the data protection act for asking that. They are only allowed to collect relevant data.

AnneTwacky Thu 14-Feb-13 06:33:10

It might seem a bit 1984.

My guess is though that they need to know this info for everyone who drives on company business as part of their motor insurance, but it sounds like they don't know who does business trips and who doesn't. (Although they should).

If you never will even run an errand for the company, then speak to your HR/ Fleet manager.

shemademedoit Thu 14-Feb-13 06:38:57

Don't know what the rules are where you are, but here in France, if I were to get into an accident or trouble ON MY WAY TO or FROM WORK my employer would be responsible for my care/insurance. Could it be like that?

ChristmasJubilee Thu 14-Feb-13 06:38:59

Is there another reason you don't want to show them? Do you have points on your licence or are you banned? Is your car M.O.T'd and insured? If there are no other problems then IMHO YABU and precious. I can't see any reason they would really need it but what real difference would it make to you.

Iggly Thu 14-Feb-13 06:39:44

Actually they surely only need it if you make a claim for expenses? So why tell them you'll give the information if you make a claim.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 14-Feb-13 06:44:07

We're expected to supply all that and have business use on our insurance to claim mileage. I do about ten work related miles a month, I just don't bother claiming.

Yanbu

HecateWhoopass Thu 14-Feb-13 07:14:49

What would happen if you wrote to them and said please confirm in writing why you require this information from me when I do not and will not use my car for work?

And what would happen if you showed them? They'd have the information and? They'd do what with it? Would it affect you?

Yes, there's need to know. And I'm fairly sure that data protection is very clear that there must be a purpose for information to be stored and I'm not sure that a blanket policy would be enough. But, otoh, how are you harmed by them having it?

If you object, then object formally and see what their argument is when they have to put it in writing.

HecateWhoopass Thu 14-Feb-13 07:15:50

That should be 'need to know' - as in information should only be gathered that they NEED to know.

TheFallenNinja Thu 14-Feb-13 07:28:13

The if you have nothing to hide response will undoubtedly come back if you challenge it, I prefer to think about it as protecting my privacy, however.

This does happen all over the place and I'm sure that the business will have a watertight reason to demand it.

I think it's more of a case that it feels like intrusion, when in reality it probably isn't.

Perhaps worth considering if this is where you want to make your stand? For the sake of a quick photocopy it may well warrant an eye roll and a tut and perhaps even a FFS.

Personally, I'd save my battles for something larger.

Iggly Thu 14-Feb-13 08:22:57

It only takes a few minutes to challenge. They might have put a blanket request out as easier.

LIZS Thu 14-Feb-13 08:26:27

Unless you are claiming mileage or carrying company equipment/data I can see no reason why you should comply.

TaggieCampbellBlack Thu 14-Feb-13 08:37:31

I have the same request at work and I too have refused.

On picking apart the policy it is only if you use your car for work business (like community visits).

So instead of just asking the community staff they are now pressurising everyone for pointless information. It is none of their business if my car is taxed and MOTd.

the poster upthread who mentioned data protection has it - the company has no reason to ask unless you are claiming mileage (or similar) and they are not allowed to hold this personal information unless they have a valid reason for doing so - and even then they should only ask for it when they need it and hold it only as long as they need it for that purpose and no other - they can't ask 'because it might be useful some day'.

What's even more daft is a guarantee you that once they do collect the data they will never ask about it again - my employer asked for this info about 7 years ago - I gave it (as I do claim mileage) - I have sinced changed cars, insurance providers etc etc many times - if the data is still held somewhere it is very out of date, but they have no mechanism to update it (i asked!)

I'm not convinced your cars mot status counts as personal info actually, and whether this stuff cones under data protection...insurance maybe I suppose. The mot is about the car.

SPB - I'd agree - the MOT status probably wouldn't count as personal info, not least as it's not attributed to a person, only a car. The insurance details are personal though (unless of course they are only asking for you to sign something confirming that you have adequate insurance and MOT, rather than providing the document itself - which is what most sensible employers do instead of all the fuss of asking for copy certifiates and MOT notices etc that are out of date within 12 months!)

julieann42 Thu 14-Feb-13 09:06:43

My husband works in the community as a nurse and has to supply this info as he claims mileage , unless you do I would say you are within your rights to withhold this info!

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 14-Feb-13 09:11:51

OP, our work randomly asked us for copies of all our exam certs a while ago (including GCSEs/O levels). Someone asked why they required this information and the request went away.

It's worth pushing back if you don't want to do it.

As a SW i have to provide that information just to be a member of the GSCC, whether i am working or not.

Does your profession have a regulatory body?

Are you sure that it is not in your contract that if you are a driver you may be asked to use a car?

Tbh, i see this as regulating staff, and the company mearly exercising a social responibility, which if they employ members of regulatory bodies, they are bound in leglislation to do so.

So, in certain jobs, this is par for the course.

StanleyLambchop Thu 14-Feb-13 09:56:47

My DH was asked to supply details of his mortgage and bank accounts so that his work could run checks to make sure he was 'financially competant'- eg had no debts. I refused to sign the form to allow this on the basis that they were joint accounts and as I did not work for the company I did not want my privacy violated. The company backed down and just did a standard CCJ check in the end. Some companies just take the piss!!!

EuroShagmore Thu 14-Feb-13 11:42:08

I'd ask them to justify why they want this information and why their request complies with the Data Protection Act.

Bejeena Thu 14-Feb-13 11:59:24

I would just write back saying that you have assumed you received this mail in error since you don't do any work related travel in your car. Then they will either respond and say sorry our mistake, didn't mean to ask you or if they do then they will have to give you the reason.

atacareercrossroads Thu 14-Feb-13 12:26:13

YABU, they have a responsibility to their employees that they check that ANYONE who may have to use their car for work purposes has adequate cover. It doesnt matter that Shirley says she'll never use her car. If Shirley has a car, and the company has a policy on car owners using their own cars for work purposes, then they have to cover all bases.

Pretty petty thing to make a stand about. Are you generally unhappy with your employers?

Well you can't use your car for work purposes unless you're insured to do so. And I doubt you can claim for mileage unless you are. So it would be known in advance.

What if you own a horse? Do they assume you may one day use your horse for work related purposes
obviously not talking about people who work for tesco here

LessMissAbs Thu 14-Feb-13 12:39:10

If it isn't in your written contract or statement of employment, and hasn't been implied into by a need or history of using a car for work purposes, then I see this as a breach of the common law duty of trust and confidence, and of respect, between employer and employee.

No doubt something a non-legally qualified HR person has made up to justify themselves being in a job...

That said, you could be labelled a troublemaker if you refuse (although it might be worth it for the pleasure you might get out of it!), so I'd just say I didn't have a car while pointing out the above verbally, or changing the first and last digits on any information your provide. I'd just love to see them challenging an employee for providing slightly wrong information that they are not entitled to know!

MrsKeithRichards Thu 14-Feb-13 12:39:20

Atacareer that's not true. If you don't want to, you don't have to use your car unless it's a contracted expectation.

My work prefer drivers, we do home visits however they don't state you have to drive, its not essential. You can walk, bus or bike or do whatever you want to get to visits.

Did you know cyclists came claim mileage too?

MrsKeithRichards Thu 14-Feb-13 12:40:27

Meant to add I'd you choose to drive then you need to follow procedure.

LessMissAbs Thu 14-Feb-13 12:47:02

Possibly also a breach of your human right to family life and privacy, if they choose to make an issue out of it...

atacareercrossroads Thu 14-Feb-13 13:07:00

MrsKeith - of course an employee doesnt have to use their car unless its a contractual requirement, I don't think I said otherwise confused

And it doesnt matter that the company might have a procedure for employees to follow, some companies go a step further and make further checks to ensure that an employee who doesn't have cover doesn't use their car.

Chances are the employers are just trying to cover their backsides to make sure they keep their employees safe and themselves out of potential trouble by inadvertantly asking an employee to use their car who doesnt have cover. As I say I cant personally see the issue, I doubt the employers are looking to sell off copies of the MOT certificates.

13Iggis Thu 14-Feb-13 13:13:50

My car insurance has my dh's name and details as part of it too: his also has mine. Why should I pass this stuff on if not needed? (If they are offering to pay it for you, great! Otherwise they can bugger off).
It is not precious to want to maintain some privacy.
How safely will all this information be stored by the company?

I'd just keep "forgetting" to bring it in. If they really need it they'll chase.

StuntGirl Thu 14-Feb-13 13:22:31

I agree, just ask them why they need it and how it complies with data protection. If they can give you a legit reason then you'll know, and can supply the required info. If there is no legit reason they'll either shut up and go away, or give you a good basis to challenge it on.

Pigsmummy Thu 14-Feb-13 13:23:38

If you don't use your car for work related business and don't get paid any car allowances or vehicle related expenses then it isn't anything to do them however if your contract says that you must be a vehicle owner then you have to provide the details.

Seriously though why are you worried?

RevoltingPeasant Thu 14-Feb-13 13:45:12

careercrossroads

But the point is, the OP knows she will never need to use her car for work purposes - so why should she supply this info?

It is as relevant as asking her to prove she has up to date buildings insurance on her home, or isn't using an unauthorised overdraft at the bank.

Sure, it will probably not 'affect' her for others to know this but why the hell should she? I wouldn't. I am a dedicated employee who puts a lot into the job but I also want privacy. This is not unreasonable!

OP, I second what everyone else is saying: send a cheery email saying you must have this request in error as you never use a car for work purposes; if they push ask for a formal statement of why under DP Act.

atacareercrossroads Thu 14-Feb-13 14:55:38

Because they are covering all bases as a responsible employer. I always thought Id never use my own car on business, yet there I was 2 weeks ago arranging temporary insurance cover for 3 days as a favour to my manager rather than them having to shell out for taxis.

Arion Thu 14-Feb-13 15:33:13

The thing is, the car insurance won't have business use on it as OP doesn't use it for business. Are they checking this and will then say you need business cover? If they're not checking this level of cover then it's purely a paperwork issue and of no relevance. They need a list of who uses the car for business to ensure hat the level of insurance is correct otherwise their insurance is as invalid as having no insurance!

WelshMaenad Thu 14-Feb-13 22:46:09

Sorry, sleeping off a night shift!

No, I'm not happy with them generally at the moment, they are rising roughshod over us and I'm bloody sick of it, I suppose it's a bizarre issue to make a stand on, but it just irritated me.

No, I have nothing to hide, my car is MOT'd and taxed, I have no points on my licence, I am insured. I do NOT have business use insurance because I refuse to pay for something I don't need, so in the fairly inconceivable event I was asked to use my car for work, other than commuting, I would refuse as I would not be insured. I am j sites for SDandP and commuting use only.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 14-Feb-13 22:55:27

atacareer what do you mean, covering all bases as a responsible employer? If the OP knows she will never use her car, then fine.

On that logic, the 'responsible employer' should also make sure your home is insured for business purposes. You might do work there at some point.

You should also ensure your home PC has a work VPN on it. You might conceivably do work on it at some point.

Are you a bricklayer, a midwife? Doesn't matter, you might still be working in your living room, in some conceivable scenario.

Sorry, this is ridiculous. If the OP is not contracted to drive a car during work hours it is her business whether her car is taxed or not. Not her employers.

Welsh, I'd take a stand. Of course there are jobs where you don't need a car (I have one such). And if you do 'need a car' - er, you hire one through work then, you don't use your own...........
..........as it's not insured for business purposes!!

Dromedary Thu 14-Feb-13 22:59:18

I agree with Bejeena.
I don't see that this is a "reasonable instruction". They should not (no guarantees obv) discipline you for not complying with an unreasonable instruction.
And they couldn't require you to use your car for business use unless this was in your contract.
My employer requires staff to jump through all kinds of hoops if they want to be able to claim mileage expenses. So you end up driving a fair bit for them without claiming the expense back. A great motivator.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 14-Feb-13 23:05:14

Dh was asked for this info by the college he was working for. At the time he commuted on the train. He just told them he didn't have a car if his own.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 14-Feb-13 23:06:53

I've just sent a letter out at work asking for this info plus other stuff we need for getting ready for RTI and eligible to work checks.
I just put in brackets if used for company business)

I do use my car for work and claim expenses accordingly (LMFAO, it doesn't even cover the cost of petrol!!). Even so, we just have to sign a form stating that we are insured, MOT'd etc - they don't check up on us that we have actually done this! So in your case OP YANBU and I would tell them to shove it. Apart from anything else, having business use on your car increases your insurance premiums - why on earth would you want to do this 'just in case'??

ironhorse Thu 14-Feb-13 23:14:16

i cant believe how many people are happy to give out info about themselves when they dont know how it is going to be used - the internet has a lot to answer for.

Dromedary Thu 14-Feb-13 23:23:02

I agree Ironhorse. And what about the comments that if you don't want to give this information to your employer, you must have something to hide? The point is that the employer DOES NOT OWN YOU, AND DOES NOT NEED THIS INFORMATION. Maybe in the future these posters will have points on their license or whatever, so what has that got to do with their employer, when they don't even use their car for work?

Has this trend got something to do with the view the government is publicising that anyone who is in a job should be kissing their employers' feet with gratitude?

ZillionChocolate Thu 14-Feb-13 23:39:28

I claim driving expenses from the government. I've been told about the insurance which is required but never checked up on.

OP YANBU. I wouldn't lie about not having a car, but I might respond saying you don't have a car for business use, which of course is true given your non business insurance.

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