Electronic Driving Licence Checks - Network Rail

Our Ref: HSR/4/2
Head Office Circular: NP/314/21
20th August 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Further to Head Officer Circular NP/256/21, dated 19th July 2021, a response was received from Network Rail’s Chief Health and Safety Officer, as follows:

Firstly, I would like to confirm that we have amended the communications to employees regarding completing the licence checks and we would like to use the additional time that this has created to work with the Trades Unions on implementing a legally compliant solution.
Currently we have reached a 67% compliance across the company and I hope you would join us in agreeing that this an unacceptable position to be in, and one we should not tolerate.
In response to the four points you have raised:
1. To demand that alternative arrangements for checking licences are made where employees are concerned about the safety of their data.
The data we have received from the revised process has shown that the old process was not fit for purpose; we have detected examples of drivers with points or bans that the previous system did not pick up. For this reason, we are unable to revert back to this, however we are committed to working with the RMT to increase the use of the new process and seek suitable alternatives to improve compliance in the short term. We would also like your support in exploring the concerns with the use of data and how we can mitigate them.
2. To obtain confirmation from Network Rail and Hitachi that the data will only be used for the purpose of checking driving licences and nothing else. In particular, it will be stored securely and not passed on to anyone else.
We can confirm that this is the case and is fully detailed in the data Protection Policy we have previously shared.
3. To ensure consent forms are strictly limited to the data being used for driving licence checks with the DVLA and nothing else.
We can confirm that this is the case and is fully detailed in the data Protection Policy we have previously shared.
4. To clarify that the information from the DVLA Network Rail receives via Hitachi will not be used in disciplinary action.
We would not utilise the data from DVLA in a disciplinary matter unless the evidence suggests the employee’s licence has been suspended and has continued to drive on Company business. The reason for this is because they would have been a danger to themselves, potentially their colleagues and other road users.
We welcome the RMT’s continued engagement in improving compliance in this area. We are looking to schedule a further meeting to discuss this, and your support would be appreciated.
At its meeting on 19th August, 2021, your National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the correspondence on file from Network Rail.

The General Secretary is instructed to respond to the company on this matter, noting that RMT will engage with the company in order to obtain an alternative method of driving licence checks and explore the concerns with the use of data and how they can be mitigated.

Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary