answersSummer vacation is approaching. Many employees enjoy the benefits of a company car to go on a car trip. But what are your rights and obligations as an employee? Who is responsible in the event of an accident? Can you refuel across the border? And what if you want to change drivers? jobat.be I reached out to Eileen van Grunderbeek, a legal expert at Acerta Consult.
Written by Thomas Russell in collaboration with Jobat
The agreements regarding the company car are usually set out in the car policy that is put in place when the business owner gives the company car, says Elaine van Grunderbeek. “In principle, the employer bears full responsibility if the vehicle is used exclusively for the performance of work. Only if the employee makes a serious mistake or regularly makes minor mistakes, can the responsibility pass from the employer to the employee.”
Do you get the green light for a car trip with a company car? Pay attention to these four points
Accident on vacation
If the employee is also allowed to use his company car for private use, for example on his leave, the liability changes. “Then it falls on the employee. Leave is a private use. In the event of an accident abroad, in which the employee is at fault, the employer will be addressed in the first place. The costs are subsequently recovered from the employee. As an employee, you should always file the accident report in the prescribed manner. To the relevant departments. If there are casualties as well, an official report should be prepared.”
“The car policy usually also states who pays the lien,” the legal expert continues. “There are employers who always force the employee to pay the lien, for damage in a special time, but there are also employers who get involved in the first tort issue. It is always best to contact the human resources department of the employer if something goes wrong. This way everything can be done. Clearly and transparently. The same story with the theft of the car. Then you have to file a report with the foreign police. In terms of liability, facts often play a role. Suppose you left your keys on the engine, you as a negligent employee and you are responsible. Often only the car is insured against theft, But not your belongings. So don’t leave any valuables in your car,” advises van Grinderbeek.
It provides fuel
Families who are on the road for a long time often want to switch drivers. Is this also possible with a company car? “This again depends on the policy of the car. A lot of times, the employee and family members who live in the house are allowed to drive from the age of 21, or those who have had their driver’s license for at least a number of years. Let’s say you went on vacation with friends, make sure Than to carefully review your vehicle’s policy before handing the wheel over to them.”
Most employees who own a company car also have a fuel or charge card. “Its use could be limited to Belgium, but it could also be broader, with or without the employer’s permission,” says Van Grunderbeek. In addition, there are agreements about the amount of fuel or kilowatt-hours in which the employer intervenes. A limit can be agreed in the vehicle policy for each month or year. So check your car policy carefully before you leave, so you don’t have surprises afterward.”
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