Drug Driving – What your business needs to know

On March 2 2015, new regulations aimed at cracking down on drug-drivers came into force in England and Wales.

Although it has always been illegal to drive whilst under the influence of drugs, the new laws specify exact limits for 16 different illegal and prescription drugs, bringing the legislation in line with drink-driving laws.

Under this new legislation, police will be able to carry out roadside saliva tests, as well as impairment checks. Portable ‘drugalysers’ will be able to detect cocaine and cannabis whilst a blood test will be taken for other substances including heroin, ecstasy and prescription drugs.
Those using prescription drugs within recommended amounts will not be penalised. Prescription drugs covered by the new law are clonazepam, diazepam, flunitrazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, tamazepam, methadone and morphine.

Penalties for drug-driving will be similar to those given for drink-driving and could include a criminal record, a 12-month ban as well as a fine up to £5,000.

Employers, particularly those operating a fleet or supply business, need to be aware of these changes. Employees should continue taking their prescription medicines, but be made aware that it is their responsibility to ask their doctor or pharmacist if they might affect their ability to drive. Any drivers that take prescription medication should also be encouraged to carry proof, which they can produce at the roadside if necessary.

Workplace policies and procedures must be in place, which allow employers to deal with any employee who breaks the law. For example, an employer might want to dismiss an employee if they are no longer able to work because of a drug-driving ban or where there are insurance problems due to a previous conviction for drug driving If an employee has been made aware of the implications of the law and the consequence of its violation to their employment, they are in no position to contest dismissal.

As part of their wider risk assessments, employers should also consider conducting their own random drug testing. To be effective, employers need to introduce a clear drug-testing policy and there should be no doubt about the consequences for any employee who fails a test or refuses to be tested.
New partnership announced with Ashbridge School

Anderson Ashcroft are absolutely delighted to have been recently appointed as Insurance Brokers to Ashbridge School.

Speaking of the announcement, John Anderson, a Director with Anderson Ashcroft said  “understanding who Ashbridge are and what they do allowed us to put together a bespoke Insurance Programme, which ideally met our client’s requirements”.

We are very proud indeed to be acting on behalf of Ashbridge School which is such a well known and well respected local educational establishment.

Our intention is to continue to nurture and develop our relationship with Ashbridge School with the view to being retained as their trusted advisors for many, many years to come.


Small Business Directors – Could you be liable?

If you’re a director for a small firm and your business is sued, you could find yourself personally liable. Claims can come from employees, clients or even fellow directors and might result in you suffering financial loss. Take a look at these two claims scenarios prepared by a Lloyd’s of London insurer*:

  • An employee was involved in a fatal accident at work. The Health and Safety Executive and the heirs to the employee’s estate brought legal action against the company and the directors personally for compensatory damages.
  • A fire destroyed a company’s premises. Unfortunately the director responsible for arranging the company’s insurance had failed to keep the insured values up-to-date meaning the premises could not be rebuilt with the insurance proceeds alone. The other directors decided to sue their fellow director.

Examples like these are where Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance (D&O) can prove to be invaluable. D&O insurance will cover individual directors in the event that they are personally sued as a result of the decisions they have made for their company. More importantly, a policy will pay defence costs as well as damages, although the policies do not cover fraudulent, criminal or intentional non-compliant acts. Remember, it’s not just your business that can be sued .For more information on D&O insurance, call us.

* Catlin Group Limited


Anderson Ashcroft celebrating 25 years in Business

From humble beginnings the company has grown from strength to strength over the past quarter of a century, positioning itself as one of the North West’s leading Commercial Insurance Brokers.

Reflecting on this milestone, John Anderson – one of the founding Directors said:

“So much has changed in the Insurance Industry since we opened our doors for business back in 1988.

Our core values though remain a constant to this day. Professionalism, integrity and superior customer service are at the heart of our business and will always stand the test of time.

This simple combination of principles will allow us to become even more successful in the future.”

Are your goods fully insured for travel?

All companies buying or selling goods that need to be shifted by road, rail, sea or air, have some degree of what, in the insurance business, is known as ‘marine cargo transit exposure’. Businesses often assume that this is covered when their hauliers or suppliers insure the goods. Unfortunately this is not always the case and goods may end up under-insured.

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