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Transport Working Time Regulations

The Working Time Regulations is something often overlooked by Commercial Transport Operators. It is however something which VOSA is now routinely checking up on compliance with alongside checks on tachographs and drivers hours. The rules are quite different to the tachograph regulations and Operators must be careful to make sure they are compliant with both sets of rules.

 

The Working Time Regulations is something often overlooked by Commercial Transport Operators. It is however something which VOSA is now routinely checking up on compliance with alongside checks on tachographs and drivers hours. The rules are quite different to the tachograph regulations and Operators must be careful to make sure they are compliant with both sets of rules.

The rules apply to drivers who are employed but also the self employed including sole traders, partners and directors who also drive.

All work related activities count as work. This could include things like paperwork, loading, cleaning your vehicle and anything done at work. It doesn’t just include driving.

Brief Summary of the Rules

 

Maximum Working Week : 48 hours on average over a 17 week period. Although an average is taken over a 17 week period, total working time in any single week may not be more than 60 hours.

Agreement to Extend : with agreement from an employee, the point of reference over which the average is worked out can be extended to 6 months. This means in practice that an employee might work longer than 48 hours a week for a period of time followed by a number of weeks where he works less than 48 hours providing it is all averaged out to no more than 48 hours maximum over the whole six month period.

Breaks : if a worker works between 6 and 9 hours he or she is entitled to a break of at least 30 minutes, if working over 9 hours then the break must be at least 45 minutes. Mobile workers must not work more than 6 hours without taking a break.

Duration of Breaks : the minimum breaks may be taken in parts rather than all at once but if taken in parts, each part must be no less than 15 minutes in duration.

Night Work : this is defined as any period including the 4 hours between midnight and 4am for goods vehicles and from 1am to 5 am for passenger vehicles. An employee doing night work must not work more than 10 hours in any 24 hour period.

Holidays : employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holidays per year. The rate of pay is the average they have earned during the previous 12 weeks (this calculation will include not just basic pay but overtime aswell).

Record Keeping : employers must keep detailed records of employee working times and these records must be kept for two years. In the case of dedicated drivers the tachographs should provide an adequate record. For other workers you should use a system of time sheets unless the hours are fixed and regular.make sure that behind the paperwork, real rigorous inspections are being carried out by drivers each day.

It is a common feature of the industry that drivers often treat the daily inspection as a semi-serious formality rather than a serious, rigorous legal requirement. The driver CPC will hopefully go some way to redress this.

 
For advice on the Working Time Regulations or any aspect of Commercial Transport Law, please contact us for a free of charge discussion.  You can call us on 0800 1777 522, email us or contact us through our free online enquiry form.  
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