Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of drivers' Hours and Working Time Rules in Great Britain - further clarificationMonday 6th December 2010
Further to yesterday’s e-news on the relaxation of EU drivers hours rules, FTA has confirmed with the Department for Transport (DfT) that the concession applies to all operations in scope of EU drivers’ hours rules, and that the term ‘hauliers’ used in the first paragraph below can be read broadly as ‘operators’. Any members using this relaxation should consider the possible need to demonstrate that they have been suffering supply chain problems caused by the snow. We recommend operators keep any evidence of this (e-mails, weather reports etc.) with tachograph records for a year. As a reminder, the full concession is described below.
The Department for Transport has agreed to a temporary, and limited, emergency relaxation (not suspension) in Great Britain of the enforcement of EU drivers' hours and working-time rules for ALL hauliers suffering supply chain problems caused by the recent heavy snowfalls and icy weather.
This temporary relaxation applies immediately and will run until 23:59 on 7 December 2010. The Department will review the relaxation in the light of weather conditions early next week.
This relaxation does not affect other relaxations which have already been granted, to specific transport sectors for longer periods.
For those drivers and work in question, the EU drivers' hours rules will be temporarily relaxed as follows:-
* Replace the EU daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 10 hours
* Reduce the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours.
* Lift the weekly (56 hours) and fortnightly driving limit (90 hours).
* Postponing the weekly rest requirement until 23:59 on 7 December 2010, at which stage a driver has to take a normal weekly rest of 45 hours.
* Notwithstanding the postponement of the weekly rest requirement (see preceding bullet point), a driver must take a minimum rest of 24 hours beginning no later than the end of the eleventh day since the end of his last weekly rest period.
The requirement to take a 45 minute break after 4½ hours driving remains and will continue to be rigorously enforced.
The enforcement of working time rules has also been relaxed for this period to allow drivers to work up to 66 hours instead of the usual 60 hour weekly maximum. This extra time should be recorded, but does not count for the purposes of determining average working time
The practical implementation of the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and/or driver representatives.
The Department also wishes to make clear that driver safety must not be jeopardised. Drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired - employers remain responsible for the safety of their employees and other road users.
The drivers in question must note on the back of their tachograph charts or printouts the reasons why they are exceeding the normally permitted limits. This is usual practice in emergencies and is, of course, essential for enforcement purposes.
The temporary relaxation of the rules described above reflects the exceptional circumstances of the extreme weather conditions.
The Department wishes to emphasise that, as a general rule it expects business to plan for and manage the risks of disruption to supply chains.
Members with urgent queries regarding the drivers' hours rules and working time relaxation should contact FTA's Member Advice Centre by e-mailing your name, telephone number and brief outline of question to: <firstname.lastname@example.org> after 0900 on Saturday morning. MEMBERS WITH QUERIES AFTER 8.30AM ON MONDAY MORNING SHOULD CALL THE MAC ON 0870 60 50 000.