As part of our Talk with the Experts series, we held a webinar this week focussing on the road haulage sector and how the pandemic and lockdown have created new challenges for both operators and the regulators overseeing them.

 

ARAG Broker Business Manager, Chris Clacy introduced the experts from one of our specialist partner law firms, Stephensons Solicitors LLP. Sean Joyce is a Partner and Head of Regulatory and Criminal Justice, while Senior Associate Solicitors Paul Loughlin and Adam Pennington, specialise in the areas of regulatory and motor prosecution and employment law, respectively.

Brokers from across the industry with an interest in this vital sector were invited to attend the webinar on Microsoft Teams, in which the highly experienced solicitors discussed the regulatory and legal environment both since the outbreak and in the future.

Paul Loughlin
talked first about the current regulatory environment, the approach that the Office of the Traffic Commisioner is taking and how the principle of “proportionality” is being applied. He also highlighted the need for operators to stay up-to-date with the frequent and detailed guidance that is being published.

Sean Joyce followed this with a broad explanation of the difficulties and backlogs currently facing the legal system and how this is impacting operators and their employees who may have to face an interview under caution or even criminal proceedings. He went on to discuss some of the particular legal allegations that hauliers might face, including tachograph offences and furlough fraud.

Adam Pennington rounded the discussion off by talking through the current state of employment law, especially regarding what he referred to as the “furlough minefield” and how this complicates this already difficult area of legal compliance for employers, such as those in the road haulage industry.

Chris wrapped up the session by fielding a number of questions from the audience, which were answered by our panel of expert guests.

Our thanks to Sean, Paul and Adam for sharing their expertise and insight, and to all those who attended.

Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.

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