Working time advice drawn up for UK drivers

The
Government has announced details of how the new Road Transport (Working Time)
Directive will be implemented in the UK.

The
new UK regulations will allow a four-month reference period for calculating the
average 48-hour week, which can be extended to six months and will enable night
workers to work more than 10 hours for every 24-hour period.

The
Government said the regulations would offer drivers clear guidance on working
conditions and provide them with the level of protection enjoyed by employees
in other sectors, without imposing an unfair burden upon employers.

To
take advantage of the changes, there will need to be either a collective
agreement, or a workforce agreement at company level between the employer and
employees.

"Drivers
will benefit from lower work-related stress levels and we expect to see road
safety benefits for both drivers and other road users," said roads
minister David Jamieson. "This legislation will bring benefits to all
those who work in the industry as well as making the industry more attractive
to new recruits."

The
new UK regulations will:


allow a four-month reference period for calculating the average 48-hour week,
which can be extended to six months


allow night workers to work more than 10 hours for every 24-hour period


define ‘night time’ as a period between midnight and 04.00 for drivers and crew
of goods vehicles, and 01.00-05.00 for drivers and crew of passenger vehicles

The
new regulations will not cover self-employed drivers until March 2009 and voluntary
work will not contribute towards the working time of mobile workers under the
new regulations.

By Michael Millar

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