Transport firms are being urged to protect their businesses from police monitoring of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Police forces across the UK have been stopping drivers to check they are making essential-only journeys and that has been causing red-tape headaches for companies.
Moreton Cullimore, the Managing Director of Gloucester-based Cullimore Group of companies, said that his company had taken some unnecessary criticism on social media the last two weeks, so he has shared a letter on social media from the Department of Transport to confirm why some of our trucks are still moving. He said: “We are moving flour and food provisions only to supply chain and supermarkets. Observing all necessary social distancing and public health advice. Please give our drivers a thumbs up.”
The letter from the Department of Transport says that the work of the logistics sector should continue to the greatest extent possible during the Covid-19 crisis.
It states: “Haulage drivers, managers, warehouse staff, and all other logistics professionals need to continue to go about their business to keep supply chains moving, and government policy is clear that this applies to all supplies chains and not just food and medical supplies.”
A leading employment lawyer is recommending firms take straightforward steps to prevent vital supplies being stopped and employees being allowed to continue their work.
The head of employment law at top Midlands law firm Wright Hassall, Tina Chander, is advising all delivery firms to issue drivers and other transport staff with letters from their employer which confirms their work is essential.
She said: “We have had instances of goods vehicles being pulled over by the police who then, understandably, want proof that the activities being carried out are essential.
“That has meant companies scrambling to pull together proof to allow their firms to keep functioning and making essential deliveries in what is an already disrupted commercial world.
“When you hear of some of the cases police have found on the motorways, it is perfectly understandable that they want to ensure that only essential journeys are being made to prevent an even wider spread of the infection.
“Key workers obviously have identification such as an NHS or emergency services cards, but often delivery drivers – who are keeping our essential supplies flowing – only have general identification such as driving licences.
“Employers need to equip them with formal, headed letters explaining their activities. We have now produced some templates which will allow them to prove the necessity of their work and satisfy the authorities.
“The letters also mean that less police time is taken up with red-tape and that has to be good for everyone.”