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What are the steps to take to track employee vehicles?

The tracking of company vehicles is certainly quite similar to the tracking of individual employees, but the company’s obligations differ on certain points. Indeed, here we are talking about the geolocation of objects, goods (vehicles), which inform on the positions of the persons who are in these vehicles, but also on the goods or the transported tools. There are rules governing the monitoring of vehicle fleets, especially before the implementation of the geolocation system with GPS trackers.

The geolocation of a fleet of company vehicles is an authorized and increasingly used process. However, the employer must respect certain obligations in order to implement it legally. It is a very useful system for managing a fleet of vehicles and analyzing data from several GPS trackers for cars, two-wheelers, trucks, etc. That’s why more and more companies of all sizes decide to equip themselves with GPS trackers.

In the past, there have been several cases of jurisprudence that revealed the illicit character of the process of geolocation of employees by means of their company cars. In these cases, the employer did not comply with all the mandatory steps that must be taken before the system is implemented.

Rest assured, when the geolocation system chosen for the company falls within the framework of the labor law, the right to individual liberties, the right to data and the right to privacy, it can be put in place. The procedure may seem complex, but Capturs will help you to facilitate your steps to follow a fleet of vehicles in all legality.

Employees have the right to refuse to be geolocated through their vehicle. To do so, the refusal must be based on the company’s failure to respect the obligations of the CNIL, which is why the company must be rigorous in its procedures.

Fixing the rules and purposes concerning the geolocation system to be set up

If you have chosen to install GPS trackers in cars or other vehicles of your company and equip your fleet, it is because you are motivated by one or more real needs. It can be for example :

  • Real time monitoring of a fleet of vehicles
  • The global optimization of the efficiency at work
  • Eco-driving and reduction of fuel expenses
  • Control of the respect of the working time
  • Management of routes and movements
  • Employee safety on dangerous roads
  • etc.

The overall idea of the first step to take is to lay the foundations of the project and set the rules that will apply, in order to be sure that you are within the legal framework and respecting the freedoms of employees. Try to be as concrete as possible to present the project later to your team, to the staff representatives and to your employees.

Before moving on to the next steps, it is important to clarify the situation to yourself and ask yourself several questions:

  • Why do I need to geotag my employees’ vehicles?
  • Is my need really legitimate?
  • What will be the specific uses of tracking my fleet of vehicles?
  • Who will be tracked?
  • How can I use the data collected by the GPS trackers?
    Liste des usages autorisés pour une géolocalisation en entreprise

    In order to best understand the scope of such a project, the company must set rules and limits beforehand. This will help you clarify the situation with employees when you tell them and with employee representatives, and answer their basic or technical questions.

    Be aware of the legal limits on installing GPS trackers in employees’ cars. In some cases, the use of geolocation on employees’ vehicles is illegal (read more about the company’s rights and duties in tracking employees’ vehicles). For example, you will have to be careful with the respect of the employees’ privacy and with the use of the data when it expires. It is also forbidden to use a GPS tracker in order to control the speed of vehicles.

    Inform the staff representatives of the chosen methods

    Once the company has decided to install GPS trackers in its fleet and has clearly defined the functions for which they will be used, the company must consult the staff representatives and the unions, if any. It is important to know that the agreement of the staff representatives is not mandatory. Indeed, a simple consultation, for information purposes, must take place but in no case the staff representatives can forbid the company to place GPS trackers if their use is legitimate and lawful.

    A priori, the company should only have recourse to the staff representatives twice. However, it is possible that they will ask for further information when not everything has been communicated. This is why it is important to be as precise as possible about the modalities chosen for the installation of GPS trackers in employees’ cars.

    1st consultation: at the beginning of the process
    The first consultation with employee representatives takes place at the beginning of the process. It is the announcement of the desire to implement GPS trackers for the fleet of vehicles.

    2nd consultation: at the end of the process
    The second mandatory consultation with the employee representatives takes place at the end of the process. It must inform about all the modalities and decisions concerning the implementation of the geolocation system. This consultation must be as precise as possible in order to allow a better understanding and a better acceptance later on, from all the employees concerned. Indeed, in case of confusion on the part of the employees, the latter will have the possibility to manage the problem with their representatives.

    NB: The staff representatives are composed of the social and economic committee (CSE) in companies with more than 11 employees. There may also be trade union delegates.

    Inform employees that their car will have a GPS tracker

    Perhaps the most important step in putting GPS trackers in your vehicles is to inform employees, especially those who will inherit company cars equipped with GPS trackers.
    While it is not necessarily mandatory that the GPS tracker be completely visible in the car, it is mandatory that your company’s personnel be aware that their vehicle is being tracked in real time. Indeed, in addition to risking legal proceedings as well as damages, the company that does not warn its employees that they are tracked from a platform will render all the data emitted by the GPS tracker inadmissible from all sides. For example, if the tracking detects a fault or a failure on the part of an employee, it cannot be seized against him.

    How to inform employees that their car is geolocated?

    The information must be conveyed both verbally and in writing. The CNIL offers details of all the information that each employee will need to be documented before resorting to tracking their vehicle. Among them:

    • the purposes of GPS tracking
    • the recipients of the data collected
    • how long the data will be kept
    • etc.
      Réunion sur la présentation du système de géolocalisation choisi

      Step 1: Inform your employees verbally
      The announcement of the installation of GPS trackers in company cars must be clear. Keep in mind that this is the first time your employees will be aware of your need to track the vehicles they use. This is not easy since employees may feel oppressed and anxious. The last thing you want is for them to burn out!

      Encourage employees to speak up when there are questions. To do this, you can offer to answer verbally, on the spot, or later, by email. It is also possible to group all the questions together and print the answers later on a bulletin board. Be reassuring and supportive: communication is key. Employees need to understand that the goal is not to spy on them, but that there are legitimate purposes for tracking their vehicles.

      Announce the most important information verbally, taking more time if necessary. For example, explain that they will have legal access to their data, a right to justification and deletion.

      Step 2: Send a written letter
      You will need to send a written letter to all your employees who have been driven and geolocated, and hand-deliver it to them to ensure that the information has been passed on. This letter should also be posted on the company’s premises. Find a model letter to the attention of the staff, proposed by the CNIL.

      This document must include all the information on the geolocation system that will be installed in the vehicles. It will also be sent to newcomers in the company (it can, for example, be attached to the employment contract).

      Declare the location of the company’s vehicle fleet to the CNIL

      The CNIL’s role is to verify that the conditions of implementation of GPS trackers for cars are legal. However, since the RGPD regulation, a declaration to the CNIL from the company is no longer mandatory. Nevertheless, the recommendations and rules mentioned below must be respected.

      The company car geolocation system must comply with the RGPD regulation as well as the valid reasons listed by the CNIL. The CNIL gives itself the right to refuse that your company proceeds to the installation of GPS trackers if the motives are illicit and do not fit in these precise cases of use:

      • Calculation of remuneration in relation to the time worked, only if there is no other possible way.
      • Optimization and management of vehicle trajectories in dispersed areas.
      • Pricing of a service and justification through GPS trajectories (transport of people, goods, services, etc.)
      • Security of employees or other passengers in the vehicle, fight against theft.
      • Control of the respect of the rules concerning the use of the vehicle.
      • Legal obligation to track a vehicle according to its nature or content.

      If geolocated employees realize that the reason for which they are geolocated does not correspond to the one declared to the CNIL, they have the right to refuse the tracking of their vehicle and any use of their data, in accordance with the RGPD law.

      Implement the vehicle geolocation system according to the rights and duties of the employees / the company

      The final step in the process of implementing GPS trackers in company cars is to respect the rights and duties of employees and the company. There are some basic rights that employees should be aware of.

      The right to data

      The RGPD regulation is quite strict on the right to data recorded by GPS trackers in order to protect employees and secure the data that belongs to them.

      The collected data have a limited duration. After this period, the employer will have to guarantee the deletion of this data. Depending on the case, the retention period may be 2 months, 1 year or 2 years.
      The data must not be disclosed under any circumstances. Employees must be able to access it, and may request modifications or justifications for certain journeys.

      The right to disconnect and privacy

      In order to protect personal life, employees have a right to disconnect when they own a vehicle that they also use outside working hours (to go home in the evening, to have lunch at noon, etc.). This disconnection is generally possible by pressing a button on the GPS tracker or directly on the associated interface.
      However, these disconnections can be sanctioned in case of abuse from the employees (repeated switching off during their working hours).

      Active the private mode

      The right of refusal in case of abuse

      When the employer does not use the GPS trackers for the reasons he has announced, there is abuse and misuse of purposes. The employee has the right to refuse that his vehicle is geolocated.