Bosses forcing workers to drive in unsafe weather

Jan 11 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

It may be howling a gale outside, but a third of British workers have said they have driven into a work when the weather is unsafe, with two thirds complaining of feeling under pressure from their employer to brave the elements.

The poll from insurer Royal & SunAlliance found 30 per cent of motorists had driven to or for work in wintry weather that put their personal safety at risk in order to make a meeting or deadline.

And 61 per cent said they had driven in adverse conditions because they felt their employer expected them to do so.

The problem was most acute in the north-east of England, where eight out of 10 workers reported driving to or for work in conditions they would prefer to avoid.

In London, this dropped to 41 per cent feeling pressured to drive for work in poor conditions.

The insurer called on employers to be more flexible about demanding workers make journeys when they should not.

It also urged motorists to take precautions when driving on icy or slippery roads and even to consider staying off the roads until the bad weather passes.

Steve Stokes, fleet risk manager at R&SA, said: "If motorists are nervous of driving in wintry conditions, then they could be putting themselves and others at risk.

"Employers need to understand that it may take their employees longer to reach their destination, or that their employees may not be comfortable driving at all.

"If employees are nervous about driving in adverse weather, they should consider an alternative mode of transport," he added.