In response to unprecedented pressures on local and national supply chains as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department for Transport (DfT) introduced temporary and limited urgent relaxations of the enforcement of EU and GB drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales for anyone undertaking carriage of goods by road.
A specific review of the continuation of the relaxations past Sunday 5 April 2020 has now been conducted by the DfT and a decision has been made to continue with the relaxations – they will apply until 23:59 on Tuesday 21 April 2020 (this will be kept under review and the DfT reserves the right to withdraw the relaxations or extend the relaxations if circumstances change).
In addition, due to stakeholder feedback, a further relaxation has been included, allowing drivers to use the ferry/train derogation whilst taking a reduced daily rest of 9 hours.
The DfT announcement reminds operators (and customers who influence their practices) that:
Retrospective checking of the use of these relaxations will take place (including by the DVSA). Operators whose drivers make use of the relaxations must therefore adapt their existing drivers’ hours and tachograph analysis systems to manage this additional compliance obligation. Current tachograph analysis software will not be configured to take account of the relaxations and will instead report wholesale infringements where the relaxations are relied on. Operators and transport managers must therefore conduct a detailed review of every infringement to establish whether in fact it is an infringement or whether one of the relaxations applies (and, if it does, has the driver complied with the relaxed rules and produced/handed in the required records). This is a labour intensive and time–consuming process but it is vital for enforcement purposes. For further advice or assistance (including support whereby for a fixed price we, in conjunction with Foster Tachographs and Transport Compliance, will undertake this analysis exercise for you) contact a member of the Regulatory team on 01254 828300.