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Are you confused by the working time directive rules for drivers?

While running a Driver CPC course last weekend on the EU Drivers’ hours and working time directive regulations, one of the drivers questioned the working time regulations and it made me think.

Just how many other drivers out there think the same as he did?

Basically he was a self-employed driver and under the impression that the working time directive rules did not apply to him. In fact he was adamant that he did not need to comply with the working time directive at all.

There are probably thousands of self-employed drivers and transport managers out there who think exactly the same and they would have been right before the 1st of December 2011. After that date all self-employed drivers were required to comply with the working time regulations in exactly the same way as an employed driver.

This is something that in the past we had taken for granted that everybody knew about, I guess because we deal with Drivers’ hours rules and working time regulations as the core of our business and also because we informed all of our clients about this change repeatedly in December 2011 and early 2012.

As well as having to comply with the working time regulations in the same way an employed driver does many self-employed drivers regularly interrupt their weekly rest without even thinking about it. Paperwork is the most common interruption of weekly rest for a self-employed driver however there are a number of other things like washing or repairing the vehicle, planning loads and booking jobs which would all be considered by VOSA and the Traffic Commissioner as other work.

These were not mentioned in the drivers’ hours handbook because the book was focused on the EU Drivers’ hours rules however it is clear that some drivers are still unclear about the working time regulations so we will be adding these into the next update of the book.

I hope this has helped you and as always if you do have any questions please comment below, send us an email or just pick up the phone and call (0191) 491 5032