If you missed today’s webinar on Money Matters you can view it here.
A very interesting document on policing the pandemic in England and Wales was published today. You can read it here.
Questions from members on the Coronavirus Webinar Monday 11 May 2020
We give this information to the best of our ability. Please be aware that the guidelines from governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are different and state that people should still stay at home.
1. When should we return to work?
Currently because we can’t socially distance and we don’t consider it safe, our advice is still to remain at home, but this will be reviewed on 1 June. We appear to come under the third phase which would mean we could return to work on 4 July unless anything changes. The 4 key messages from NJC are –
• Nothing has changed
• Lockdown is still in place
• 2 metres social distancing should be in place
• The government are encouraging a return to work for people working in open, safe environments with 2m distancing such as construction and manufacturing.
2. Will there be an extension to theory test certificates?
Currently there is no extension to theory test certificates and so the dates stand. If we hear any updates we will let you know.
3. Will tests booked for June go ahead or be moved?
It is highly likely that test dates could be moved, we don’t have any further updates currently.
4. When can we get online to change test dates?
We don’t currently have this information but NASP has put forward to DVSA as a suggestion that ADIs be allowed on to the booking system before members of the public. There will be a priority system for those candidates who have had a test cancelled and moved.
5. PPE – what should we use, can the associations buy in bulk, should we provide for pupils?
Guidelines as we understand them at the moment are suggesting the use of face coverings when social distancing can’t be followed. People can make their own, which must be washed at least daily at a high temperature of 60 degrees. We don’t have further information yet but there will be NASP guidelines which will give more information and are being completed currently. It will be up to the ADI to decide if they are giving students a face covering or asking them to bring their own. PPE is an area where we are currently waiting for more information. NJC won’t be buying these in bulk for people, we don’t have the facilities to store or despatch them. Other ADI suppliers might if they decide there is sufficient demand.
6. Should we start doing fleet assessments in vans?
We would suggest you read carefully the government’s FAQs, there is one on going back to work if you don’t consider it safe. This is the link. You would need to do your own risk assessment as to the distance between you and the driver, are the vans larger? You would also have to consider the company’s guidance on cleanliness and hygiene for the vehicles and staff.
7. Will government funding go on beyond the current timeframe?
The government has extended the furlough scheme until October but we don’t have any information on funding for the self employed at this time.
8. Where do we stand with car insurance?
We have contacted our sponsor Waveney with the following questions which you may be interested in seeing, but we would advise that individuals contact their own insurance companies for clarification as they may take a different view.
• Government advice on returning to work is not specific for our industry, and there are some varied views and interpretation going on. We have heard of some who returned to work on Monday! NJC is taking the view that we will be in phase 3 and therefore 4 July will be the earliest we should be going back, though of course we wait to see what DVSA is doing with regard to tests. If people do go back now or soon, and had a collision would there be any problem with an insurance claim?
The policy is fully operative unless they downgraded their cover to SDP or laid up cover which we have done for a good number of instructors, if this is the case the instructor would need to call us to add tuition use back on to the policy. Otherwise the car is fully insured. There are no terms relating to COVID-19 and driving restrictions placed on any of our policies by our insurers
• We have also heard of instructors fitting or intending to fit a plastic or Perspex screen in their vehicle. NJC would definitely not recommend this, but we wondered what an insurers view is. Would it be considered a modification notifiable?
I have also had a few enquiries with this and we made some calls to insurers who said they would treat this as part of the instructors modifications to provide lessons however a couple have said they think this would be restrictive however if the advise/recommendation was to fit this they would support this action. I have also heard this is what some Taxi drivers are doing so it may become a recommendation but assume this would have to come from the DVSA
• What are insurers views on the use of PPE? In particular face coverings and plastic or Perspex shields?
From the conversations I have had all insurers think it is reasonable for instructors to follow the government guidelines which is that due care should be taken when instructors deem it safe to go back to work and expectation is that perhaps face masks, gloves, hand gel, ventilated cars i.e windows able to let in fresh air, cleaning of vehicles after lessons etc… should be followed. My personal belief is that whatever the guidelines are insurers will have no issues with these and no policy changes will need to occur to allow the instructor to drive.
• Insurance and teaching family members –
It should be noted that most ADI insurance policies only cover full licence holders over 25’s for Social, Domestic and Pleasure use such as going to work or exercise. Any use by a learner driver, be they sons, daughters and other householders under 25 must be for driving tuition only. Policies may vary and ADI’s should check with their insurer.
REASONS TO LEAVE HOME
We have also pointed out elsewhere that in our opinion driving tuition, other than for key workers, is not an essential journey within the Government’s Guidance on leaving home. Such journeys are for essential shopping, medication, to assist the vulnerable or to escape danger such as in the case of domestic violence. Therefore, pupils could be liable for a Fixed Penalty Notice and potentially the ADI could be aiding and abetting the offence.
9. If I got a fine would DVSA have to know and what would be the outcome?
Our understanding currently is that you would need to let the Registrar know. Every case that the Registrar considers is always judged on its merits. NJC cannot say what the outcome would be.
10. Why can’t people apply for provisional licences?
Because DVLA staff are mostly working from home, like many offices and are unable to process applications for provisional licences. We don’t have a date for when they will re-start.
11. If someone goes back without waiting could it affect their licence?
This is a decision that each ADI needs to make for themselves. It could potentially affect your licence if you were stopped. This isn’t just about ADIs, if you are conducting a lesson which is not an essential journey, we consider that the pupil could be fined as well as the ADI. We also need to consider the wider implications of everyone else at this time and the danger of a second spike of Coronavirus.
12. Can we have a generic risk assessment to use?
We are consulting with some experts currently and would hope to be able to provide this shortly.
13. Can we have some wording to send to our students?
We will be giving out some initial wording for pupils in the next webinar as asked, so that it can be explained. We can help with wording for pupils at a later stage but we will take them from the NASP guidelines.
14. What’s the pass rate for key workers?
We don’t have this information.
15. I have key workers who have applied for tests and still waiting for dates.
We understand more slots are becoming available but the examiners are volunteering to do this, and there are limited numbers of them. They can only do a very limited number of tests a day for safety reasons.
16. When we go back is it better to do longer lessons?
Each ADI will have to consider their clients because some would find it difficult to concentrate for longer times. Longer lessons would mean seeing fewer people in a day, with less down time for cleaning in between. We will need to be planning about time between lessons when planning diaries, as we will have to clean the car between lessons.
Whilst our newsflashes are normally a benefit of membership of the ADINJC, during this national emergency we want to share information as widely as possible, so please feel free to pass this on. We are stronger together.
The NJC continues to be dedicated to help you in these challenging times and we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. Please feel free to contact us for help and support.
ADINJC’s helpline is 0800 8202 444
The Secretary’s number is 07855 453414
HMRC Helpline: 0800 0159 559
Citizens Advice Bureau – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/
You can sign up to receive Government updates on Coronavirus relating to driving tests here.
The ADINJC is a national association run by ADIs on a not-for-profit basis. We work tirelessly to inform, represent and support our members, and to promote the interests of our profession.