Regulation – transport, storage and distribution sector


Drivers’ working hours

To protect employees, passengers and customers from the effects of working excessively long hours, there are several pieces of legislation that restrict drivers’ working hours.

Transporting goods by road

The hours that professional drivers can drive are governed by two sets of rules. European Union (EU) drivers’ hours legislation – contained within Council (EEC) Regulation 3820/85 – applies to most drivers of vehicles used for the carriage of goods, which exceed a maximum permissible weight of 3.5 tonnes.

Various exemptions apply to certain commercial activities depending on the nature of the operation concerned and, in some cases, the distance travelled. Vehicles exempt from the above EU rules fall within the scope of the UK domestic drivers’ hours rules. Those are contained within the Transport Act 1968 as amended.

Among other things, the above regulations specify:

  • the hours that can be spent driving a goods vehicle
  • the minimum rest periods that must be taken

It is the responsibility of both drivers and employers to make sure that the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules are followed. To monitor the hours worked, tachographs must be installed and used for vehicles that are subject to the EC rules. Log books must be used for vehicles subject to the UK rules. Download guidance for the haulage sector on drivers’ hours and tachograph rules from the Department for Transport (DfT) website (PDF).

Passenger transport

The hours that professional drivers can drive are governed by two sets of rules. European Union (EU) drivers’ hours legislation – contained within Council (EEC) Regulation 3820/85 – applies to most drivers of vehicles with 18 or more seats (including the driver’s) on national journeys, or 10 or more seats (including the driver’s) on international journeys.

There are various exemptions from the above EC rules, including one for vehicles operating regular passenger services on routes of 50 km or less. This typically includes most local bus services. Vehicles exempt form the EC rules fall within the scope of the UK domestic drivers hours rules. These are contained within the Transport Act 1968 as amended.

Among other things, both set of rules restrict the number of hours of continuous driving and set out the minimum rest periods that must be taken. EC rules require tachographs to be installed and used for the purposes of monitoring the hours worked – there are no recording requirements under the UK rules for road passenger vehicles. Download guidance for the passenger transport sector on drivers’ hours and tachograph rules from the DfT website (PDF).

Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations 1998, which control workers’ hours of work and rest periods, temporarily excluded some sectors when it was first implemented. These excluded sectors included road transport, which covers mobile workers such as taxi drivers, couriers, coach and lorry drivers. For further information read our guide to the Working Time Regulations.

More protection was given to some mobile workers by the EC Horizontal Amending Directive (HAD) which was implemented into UK law under the Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2003. This gives drivers not covered by EC drivers’ hours rules – such as couriers and taxi drivers – the right to:

  • a 48-hour working week
  • four weeks paid annual leave
  • health assessments if they are working nights
  • adequate rest

The Road Transport Directive (RTD) is specific to the road transport sector and will be implemented in the UK by March 2005. It will give mobile workers who are covered by EC drivers’ hours rules further protection. This Directive will only apply to employed drivers initially but will be extended to the self-employed at a later date, probably March 2009.

To find out more about the HAD and the RTD:

This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2011
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>