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Contract Car Hire Scheme Procedure

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					                    THE NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE HOSPITALS NHS TRUST

                          EMPLOYMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

                                  CONTRACT CAR HIRE SCHEME

Effective from: 1 July 2000                                                      Review Date: 31 May 2005

1.    SCOPE OF THE PROCEDURE

      This procedure applies to all Trust employees and honorary consultant contract holders who undertake
      a significant clinical commitment with the Trust.

      •       whom the Trust requires to be mobile and
      •       for whom the Trust considers it to be in the interests of the service to offer the car hire facility
              and/or it is economic for the Trust to do so.

      Employees on contracts which are funded from non-exchequer sources who are required to be mobile
      and who fulfil the relevant criteria contained in this document may be granted a contract hire car
      provided that all additional costs and responsibilities associated therewith can be met by the funding
      body.

2.    QUALIFYING CRITERIA

      2.1 Mileage

          To be eligible for consideration for a contract hire car, an employee must normally be required to
          have a vehicle available for his/her exclusive use on official Trust business and be required to
          travel at least 5,000 miles per year (this figure is chosen as it is the break even point between the
          costs of a contract hire car and payment of regular car user mileage allowance – see table attached
          at Appendix A). However, the Trust may also consider an employee for a contract hire care if it
          considers it to be in the interests of the service for the employee to have a vehicle available for
          his/her exclusive use on official business and the employee can fulfil all the following minimum
          criteria:

          •       a requirement to travel an average of 3,500 miles per year or
          •       a requirement to travel an average of at least 1,250 miles per year and

              ∗ a necessity to use the vehicle an average of three days per week or
              ∗ a need to spend an average of at least 50% of their time on such travel including the duties
                performed during the visits or
              ∗ is required to travel an average of at least 1,000 miles per year and spend an average of at
                least four days per week on such travel including the duties performed during the visits

          OR, in the case of medical and dental staff, a requirement to:
         •       travel an average of at least 1,250 miles per year and

             ∗ have ultimate clinical responsibility, or on-call responsibility normally controlled by a rota
               system for the diagnosis and treatment of patients in hospital with emergency conditions
               which require the consultant to be immediately available for recall and
             ∗ expect to be recalled to hospital in an emergency at an average rate (taken over the year but
               excluding periods of leave) of twice or more during a working week

      2.2 Nature of travel undertaken

         In assessing mileage necessary to fulfil all the above criteria, all mileage must be on official NHS
         business and the following will be excluded

             ∗ inter-hospital travel within the Trust
             ∗ journeys which could be undertaken using public transport (for instance, meetings,
               conferences etc. held outside Newcastle)
             ∗ home to base mileage (including normal home to work, planned overtime, excess travel and
               on-call recall)

     2.3 Exceptional Circumstances

         In exceptional circumstances (to be determined by the Chief Executive/Personnel Manager on an
         individual basis) and in particular as an aid to recruitment to certain posts, an employee
         transferring to the Trust from another NHS employer may be permitted to retain any existing
         contract hire car granted to him/her by the previous employer for the remaining part of the hire
         period.

3.   CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT HIRE

     3.1 Care of the Vehicle

         Detailed guidance on the conditions of the contract hire scheme are contained in a separate
         booklet available from the Trust Personnel Department but essentially an employee who is
         approved to join the scheme will be provided with a (usually new) car for both private and
         business use in return for a monthly payment from the employee. The vehicle remains the
         property of the hire company from which it has been obtained and the monthly payment will
         cover the cost of:

         •       the hire of the car
         •       all servicing repairs and maintenance
         •       RAC/AA or alternative cover
         •       road fund licence
         •       comprehensive insurance
         •       a relief vehicle after 24 hours if the original vehicle is off the road.
         The monthly charge will be based on:

         •      the type of vehicle selected by the employee (the ‘base’ car used by the Trust in
                calculating this element of the charge is a Ford Fiesta 1.3 Encore 5-door)
         •      the amount of private mileage undertaken

         An employee approved for a contract hire car will be responsible for keeping the vehicle clean
         and tidy and for ensuring that the usual routine checks on tyre pressures and tread, oil levels,
         water and anti freeze levels and will be expected to report all damage or defects immediately.
         The employee will also be responsible for ensuring that periodic servicing is carried out at the
         appropriate intervals.

     3.2 Claims

         a)     The employee will be able to claim for mileage undertaken on official NHS business at a
                fixed rate determined at the time.
         b)     Arrangements will be made to monitor the mileage actually undertaken on a yearly basis.

     3.3 Income Tax Liability

         The employee will be responsible for notifying the Income Tax authorities of the allocation of a
         contract hire car though there is also a responsibility on the Trust (via the Salaries and Wages
         Department) to inform the tax authorities

4.   APPLICATION PROCESS

     An employee who considers his/herself to be eligible for a contract hire car should submit an
     application on form CH1 (specimen copy attached to this procedure) to the Personnel Manager.

     The Personnel Manager will consider the employee’s eligibility and, if the employee is eligible, will
     consultant with the appropriate Clinical Director/Head of Department on the application. If the
     application is approved he will inform the District Transport Department accordingly by
     countersigning the CH1 form. In assessing eligibility, the Personnel Manager will wish to consider
     not only whether the employee meets the necessary criteria in 2. above. The Personnel Manager will
     also inform the employee and the appropriate Clinical Director/Head of Service of his/her decision.
     The District Transport Department will prepare then process the application further

5.   REFUSAL OF APPLICATION

     Any employee who applies for a contract hire car but whose application is refused by the Trust but
     who nevertheless is required to travel on NHS business shall be paid mileage allowance in accordance
     with the current Whitley Council regulations. Any employee who is required to travel on NHS
     business and is otherwise eligible for membership of the contract car scheme but who refuses the
     Trust’s offer of a contract hire car and uses his/her own care shall be reimbursed for mileage
     undertaken at the public transport rate in force at the time.
6.   APPEAL

     Any employee who is unhappy with a decision not to allow him/her a contract hire car should raise
     the matter through the Trust’s Grievance Procedure.

7.   RENEWAL OF CONTRACT CAR HIRE ARRANGEMENTS

     Not later than three months before the expiry of the contract period (which is usually three years) the
     Personnel Manager will consider the consider the continuing eligibility or otherwise of the employee
     to hold a contract hire car; this process will usually be triggered by the issue by the District Transport
     Department to the Personnel Manager of a “reminder” letter which indicates the date on which the
     lease car period is due to expire and the annual mileage claimed by the employee during the preceding
     two completed financial years. In considering the application for renewal, the Personnel Manager will
     consult with the appropriate Clinical Director/Head of Service and may also wish to inspect previous
     mileage claims submitted by the employee.

     If the employee continues to be eligible for a contract hire car, the Personnel Manager will inform the
     District Transport Department by countersigning the previously supplied pro-forma. The Personnel
     Manager will also inform the employee and the appropriate Clinical Director/Head of Service of
     his/her decision.

8.   REVIEW OF POLICY

     The Personnel Manager is responsible for the review and amendment of this policy.




MWE.MI.POL-PROC.CARHIRE.
17/01/03

				
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