The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) has launched FORS Legal, which provides operators with access to 24/7 legal advice for a fixed monthly fee.

The service, dubbed BACKup, will be provided by transport law firm Backhouse Jones, as part of the Affinity Partner Programme, and will provide FORS members with advice and guidance on employment and regulatory issues.

FORS said the BACKup programme is designed to suit all sizes and types of fleet operation, with pricing determined by the number of authorised vehicles on an operator's O-Licence.

Hauliers can choose to opt for employment-only advice, regulatory-only advice, or both, whilst for those needing additional cover, other areas such as corporate, commercial and property can also be included.

In addition to the legal services, BACKup customers will be entitled to 20% off all e-training on offer by Backhouse Jones, which includes areas such as HR, accident reporting and O-licence compliance, plus a host of free webinars run fortnightly on trends and topics in the transport sector.

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Ian Jones, director at Backhouse Jones, said: "We receive more than 10,000 calls a year from operators needing legal advice on any number of issues. This scheme was devised with the idea that we could provide guidance to customers in a new way, that is before matters become serious enough to need traditional legal intervention.

"Our team of lawyers live and breathe the transport sector, so we’re perfectly placed to provide operators with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re fulfilling all your legal obligations correctly, and that you have us in your corner.”

Ian Henderson, FORS concession director added: "As part of ensuring FORS offers meaningful benefits to the FORS community we have selected Backhouse Jones as the service provider for FORS Legal.

"Transport operations management is a complex and heavily regulated world, the Backhouse Jones model means that much of the stress and worry can be taken out of day-to-day interactions both with staff and with regulatory agencies.

"Helping our FORS accredited operators achieve the high standards they aspire to is at the very heart of what we do, we’re delighted to team up with a law firm of such calibre as Backhouse Jones.”