The Grey Fleet: Legal Implications for businesses report was commissioned by the NRSPP Grey Fleet Working Group and will be maintained by Flinders University to ensure the content remains up to date and constant. The Legal Implications Grey Fleet report explores the laws which relate to the responsibilities and management of a Grey Fleet by an organisation and a few hypothetical case studies of what could happen. New case law may emerge which could have significant implications for organisations with a Grey Fleet. This is the initial report developed in 2017.

Executive Summary

  • Unlike the UK, the law relating to grey fleets is as yet undeveloped in Australia.
  • The term ‘grey fleet ‘ is not specifically included in any Australian legislation or case law.
  • Legal liability imposed on employers for use of these grey fleet vehicles will be dependent on jurisdiction, legal context and the wording of specific legislative provisions, and may differ across jurisdictions and contexts.
  • Legislative regimes are often not consistent across all Australian states and territories, and limited case law exists regarding grey fleet issues
  • For work health & safety purposes, ‘workplace’ includes a vehicle used by a worker for work purposes
  • Employers have legislative duties to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and other persons
  • At common law, employers must also take reasonable care not to cause harm to those persons to whom they owe a duty
  • What is reasonably practicable and/or what amounts in law to taking reasonable care will depend on the individual circumstances of each case and is determined retrospectively by a court.
  • The legislative definitions of ‘reasonably practicable’ and ‘reasonable precautions’ can provide a general guide for prospectively assessing the risks of harm associated with using grey fleet vehicles.