Employer's GPS Tracking on Personal Car

Employer's GPS Tracking on Personal Car

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NoComment

Original Poster:

51 posts

102 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
Afternoon All,

I'm hoping someone can assist with a query.

I currently work as a salesman for a national company with over 1500 employees. Many of these employees are field based as either engineers or as part of the sales force.

I receive a car allowance paid monthly into my salary as do a significant amount of other people within the business and in addition to this many others have accepted a company car instead of said allowance.

I have recently been introduced to a company GPS Policy and currently my employer is going through a process of installing GPS tracking devices on “All company vehicles and vehicles belonging to employees who are in receipt of a car allowance.”

In addition to this the statement also includes the following paragraph “The Company reserves the right to withdraw car allowance from employees that refuse to have a tracker fitted in their personal vehicles”

As an employee who currently receives a car allowance I was wondering if my employer can legally withhold my car allowance if I do decide to decline the tracker?

Many Thanks for any advice

NoComment

  • Edited to correct grammar*
Edited by NoComment on Thursday 28th June 14:19

72EuropaTC

207 posts

167 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
I would want to ask the company:

(a) confirmation that the device can be switched off/disabled out of working hours i.e. when *my own car* is being used for *my own* private purposes

(b) if such a device was installed in my car, that the company would pay all costs for removing the device when the time comes and for any repairs to make good - i.e. drill holes etc. A portable device would be much better.

(c) any implications re insurance and confirmation that the company bears any change in cost

(d) if there was an option to swap a car allowance and use of my own car for business purposes for a company car instead

And then consider any specific objections.


NoComment

Original Poster:

51 posts

102 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
Thanks for the reply. In answer to your questions...

72EuropaTC said:
I would want to ask the company:

(a) confirmation that the device can be switched off/disabled out of working hours i.e. when *my own car* is being used for *my own* private purposes
The device monitors 24 hours per day 365 days per year. There is no way to disable it.

It does have a private journey button that you are able to press at the start of any private journey. Once the ignition is turned off however you will reappear on the system at your current position so I fail to see how this ensures information is private as they have your position when you press the private button and your position when the ignition is turned off. All this would keep private is your route and the speed that you travelled.

72EuropaTC said:
(b) if such a device was installed in my car, that the company would pay all costs for removing the device when the time comes and for any repairs to make good - i.e. drill holes etc. A portable device would be much better.
I'm assured they will.

72EuropaTC said:
(c) any implications re insurance and confirmation that the company bears any change in cost
No benefit to me.

72EuropaTC said:
(d) if there was an option to swap a car allowance and use of my own car for business purposes for a company car instead
None starter due to the depreciation of the car. I'd be about £2k out of pocket if I handed the car back.

I honestly see no benefit to me in having the tracker fitted and feel uncomfortable that my employer can see where I am 24 hours a day.

In addition to this my girlfriend is uncomfortable in the knowledge that this would be happening when she is using the car also.

Are they within their right to withhold my car allowance should i refuse it?

Thanks Again

NoComment


davepoth

29,395 posts

159 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
If it's your own car you are free to do whatever you like with it - and that would include adding a switch to the power cable for the GPS tracker.

moleamol

15,887 posts

223 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
NoComment said:
The device monitors 24 hours per day 365 days per year. There is no way to disable it.

It does have a private journey button that you are able to press at the start of any private journey. Once the ignition is turned off however you will reappear on the system at your current position so I fail to see how this ensures information is private as they have your position when you press the private button and your position when the ignition is turned off. All this would keep private is your route and the speed that you travelled.
I work for a tracking company and when you flick the private switch on ours it completely deactivates the tracker until you enable it again. How big is the fleet? I can pass you my details for your TM if you like. wink

NoComment

Original Poster:

51 posts

102 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
moleamol said:
I work for a tracking company and when you flick the private switch on ours it completely deactivates the tracker until you enable it again. How big is the fleet? I can pass you my details for your TM if you like. wink
Fleet size about 900 company vehicles plus a few hundred with car allowances, they've already started rolling out the solution to the engineers at the moment so unfortuntely you've missed out!

Cheers

NoComment

NoComment

Original Poster:

51 posts

102 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
davepoth said:
If it's your own car you are free to do whatever you like with it - and that would include adding a switch to the power cable for the GPS tracker.
Fair point but I'd rather avoid installing the thing if possible.

NoComment

moleamol

15,887 posts

223 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
NoComment said:
Fleet size about 900 company vehicles plus a few hundred with car allowances, they've already started rolling out the solution to the engineers at the moment so unfortuntely you've missed out!

Cheers

NoComment
Bugger, I can almost guarantee I could have saved them money too. Ah well!

JB!

5,254 posts

140 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
I'd get a kill switch fitted to it. Seems insane behaviour for a car for private use.

XDA

2,091 posts

145 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
72EuropaTC said:
(b) if such a device was installed in my car, that the company would pay all costs for removing the device when the time comes and for any repairs to make good - i.e. drill holes etc. A portable device would be much better.
I've had 2 different gps trackers on 2 different cars and the fitted required no drilling. They appear to be hard wired.

Deva Link

26,934 posts

205 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
NoComment said:
Are they within their right to withhold my car allowance should i refuse it?
I would imagine so. An then you wouldn't be able to do your job, so I suppose they'd have to sack you.

What reason are they giving for fitting the tracker - the usual one given is health & safety 'duty of care' related. You can expect a lot of hassle if you ever exceed a speed limit once its fitted.

HeatonNorris

1,649 posts

108 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
Under the circumstances I'd want to be giving up my allowance in favour of a low tax company car.

There is absolutely no way I'd let an employer fit a tracker to my private vehicle, even if they were paying me a car allowance.

gmasterfunk

218 posts

108 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
Buy a shed
Fit tracker - day wasted in office
2 days later tell company shed will be sold in 2 days
Company pay for removal and another day wasted or sell shed with tracker
Get another shed

Rinse repeat until they get the hint.

Your car so you can buy and sell as often as you see fit. Its their problem not yours.

Or buy shed, get tracker fitted, drive normal car for business?

Edited by gmasterfunk on Thursday 28th June 20:03

NoComment

Original Poster:

51 posts

102 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
Deva Link said:
I would imagine so. An then you wouldn't be able to do your job, so I suppose they'd have to sack you.

What reason are they giving for fitting the tracker - the usual one given is health & safety 'duty of care' related. You can expect a lot of hassle if you ever exceed a speed limit once its fitted.
No real reason that I can see for sales however I can see why it's of benefit to the service side of the business. I've OCR'd a copy of the statement below for you to see.

GPS Policy Statement

It is ************* intention to fit all company vehicles and vehicles belonging to employees who are in receipt of a car allowance with a GPS tracking device.

This initiative will increase efficiencies, and drive down the cost of insurance of the ************* fleet. It may also potentially reduce the cost for those employees who pay their own insurance. In other businesses, installation of these devices has reduced accidents by 25%.

As an example of one of the efficiencies to be achieved is via real time visibility of an engineer's location, which will greatly assist Resource Planners in the Service Call Centre to route calls more effectively. Another benefit of this initiative is the ability to submit mileage claims online, making it a simpler process for everyone.

The chosen supplier ofthe tracking device is Tom Tom. This system is non-invasive and will not 'cause any damage to vehicles as there is no connection to the vehicle's electronics: just power, earth and ignition. The devices provide data as to where all vehicles are during working hours including; miles travelled, start and finish times at each location and driving behaviour (speed, harsh braking and harsh steering). Staff will be encouraged to improve their driving for their own safety and for fuel efficiency.

As an employee you will have access to the system's website to view your personal data and will be able to check your business and personal mileage. Additionally, Management will have access to the data relating to their team and will be able to utilise the data to assist with performance management. Data captured, where necessary, may be used to support disciplinary or capability procedures, but this is not the purpose of tracking.

Employees' personal data is confidential and will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.


-*********** respects an individuals' right to privacy, and this was a key consideration in the purchase ofthe system. There is a privacy button in the vehicle, which can be activated when driving on personal journeys.

The GPS policy should be read in conjunction with the staff handbook (Section 3) for the full details regarding driving on company business.

The company reserves the right to withdraw car allowance from employees that refuse to have a tracker fitted in their personal vehicles.

Employees in receipt of a Company Car allowance must return a signed copy of this document by email to *************

I agree to have the tracking device fitted into my personal vehicle.

Signed

Date

Thanks

NoComment

NoComment

Original Poster:

51 posts

102 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
HeatonNorris said:
Under the circumstances I'd want to be giving up my allowance in favour of a low tax company car.

There is absolutely no way I'd let an employer fit a tracker to my private vehicle, even if they were paying me a car allowance.
Unfortunately not an option,the car is only 2 years old and is financed over 5 so I owe more than it's worth currenty. I'd be out of pocket by approximately £2k if I did this.

HeatonNorris

1,649 posts

108 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
NoComment said:
Unfortunately not an option,the car is only 2 years old and is financed over 5 so I owe more than it's worth currenty. I'd be out of pocket by approximately £2k if I did this.
What on earth possessed you to finance a business vehicle over 5 years!?

NoComment

Original Poster:

51 posts

102 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
HeatonNorris said:
What on earth possessed you to finance a business vehicle over 5 years!?
We can use vehicles up to 5 years old, with my allowance and mileage claim by the fourth year the car has really paid for itself. When the finance ends I just replace the car.

JB!

5,254 posts

140 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
gmasterfunk said:
Buy a shed
Fit tracker - day wasted in office
2 days later tell company shed will be sold in 2 days
Company pay for removal and another day wasted or sell shed with tracker
Get another shed

Rinse repeat until they get the hint.

Your car so you can buy and sell as often as you see fit. Its their problem not yours.

Or buy shed, get tracker fitted, drive normal car for business?

Edited by gmasterfunk on Thursday 28th June 20:03
This would be amusing! hehe

MagicalTrevor

6,420 posts

189 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
If you get the tracker fitted then make sure you take it to a track and Vmax it just to make them panic

moleamol

15,887 posts

223 months

Thursday 28th June 2012
quotequote all
NoComment said:
-*********** respects an individuals' right to privacy, and this was a key consideration in the purchase ofthe system. There is a privacy button in the vehicle, which can be activated when driving on personal journeys.
Check that this doesn't work like ours, when our privacy switch is activated the tracker won't even acknowledge the Ignition on and as such won't transmit locations.