Employers to challenge EU law on driver hours

Employers in the road haulage industry have urged the Government to
challenge the legality of EU legislation that threatens to create a recruitment
crisis in the sector.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has written to Alistair Darling,
secretary of state for transport, highlighting its concerns about the Working
Time Directive for Mobile Workers, which will limit lorry drivers to working a
maximum of 48 hours per week by 2005.

Ruth Pott, head of employment for the RHA, estimates the directive would
mean employers in the sector would have to recruit at least another 80,000

The RHA has calculated the directive will cost a minimum of £7,000 per
driver. It says it is in breach of a Treaty of Rome article, which states
directives should avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal
constraints in a way that would hold back the creation and development of

Roger King, RHA chief executive, said: "This is yet another example of
a Brussels directive forced upon us without any consideration of the
consequences for the country’s custom and practise and, more importantly,

Robin Cooper, group HR director for logistics and distribution company
Ryder, believes the impact of the directive would be much wider than the
freight and haulage sector.

"There will be an increase in the demand for more drivers and there is
already a shrinking pool of HGV qualified drivers," he said.


By Ben willmott

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