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How many do you carry? Record books are now a requirement for many more CV drivers. 


As many of our readers will know, on 20th August 2020, changes to drivers’ hours legislation were enacted.

Absorbing new legislative changes into day-to-day fleet management can be an onerous endeavour. With this in mind, we’ve broken down the key points,  and offered explanation where we think the meaning of the official guidance may be lost or misconstrued, in over-complicated wording.


  • A requirement for drivers’ to ‘return home’ every 4 weeks


Article wording:

Transport undertakings shall organise the work of drivers in such a way that the drivers are able to return to the employer’s operational centre where the driver is normally based and where the driver’s weekly rest period begins, in the Member State of the employer’s establishment, or to return to the drivers’ place of residence, within each period of four consecutive weeks, in order to spend at least one regular weekly rest period or a weekly rest period of more than 45 hours taken in compensation for reduced weekly rest period.

However, where the driver has taken two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods in accordance with paragraph 6, the transport undertaking shall organise the work of the driver in such a way that the driver is able to return before the start of the regular weekly rest period of more than 45 hours taken in compensation. The undertaking shall document how it fulfils that obligation and shall keep the documentation at its premises in order to present it at the request of control authorities.



* Most drivers and operators seem to agree that this implementation is sensible, to allow rest to be taken as exactly that, and allow the driver to spend their free time appropriately. However, it does place additional pressures on the operation for systems in both planning and documentation. There are numerous approaches to achieve compliance with this requirement, and best practise recommendations will surely follow in due course.


  • A ban on taking regular weekly rest periods in the driver’s vehicle

Article wording:

The regular weekly rest periods and any weekly rest period of more than 45 hours taken in compensation for previous reduced weekly rest periods shall not be taken in a vehicle. They shall be taken in suitable genderfriendly accommodation with adequate sleeping and sanitary facilities. Any costs for accommodation outside the vehicle shall be covered by the employer.

* In reality this rule is already in practise, with multiple cases of drivers being fined for taking the full weekly rest in their cabs. The changes lie in reinforced wording, and also the clarity of the requirements. Stating the nature of the accommodation and, more critically, the fact that it MUST be paid for by the employer, not the driver.


  • A new definition of ‘non-commercial carriage’

Article wording:

“Non-commercial carriage” means any carriage by road, other than carriage for hire or reward or on own account, for which no direct or indirect remuneration is received and which does not directly or indirectly generate any income for the driver of the vehicle or for others, and which is not linked to professional or commercial activity.



* The change may not appear to impact many businesses but the truth is, this slight change in wording effects a broad category of operators who effectively do not generate income specifically from the ‘transport’ of their goods/assets, but stand to profit from the end result of using them. Ultimately, where paid work is involved, it will most likely be classed as commercial carriage.


  • More flexibility on the scheduling of the rest periods for some drivers on international carriage of goods

Article wording:

In any two consecutive weeks a driver shall take at least:

(a) two regular weekly rest periods;
(b) one regular weekly rest period and one reduced weekly rest period of at least 24 hours.
A weekly rest period shall start no later than at the end of six 24-hour periods from the end of the previous weekly rest period.

By way of derogation from the first subparagraph, a driver engaged in international transport of goods may, outside the Member State of establishment, take two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods provided that the driver in any four consecutive weeks takes at least four weekly rest periods, of which at least two shall be regular weekly rest periods. For the purpose of this paragraph, a driver shall be considered to be engaged in international transport where the driver starts the two consecutive reduced weekly rest periods outside the Member State of the employer’s establishment and the country of the drivers’ place of residence.’;

ALSO: ‘Any reduction in weekly rest period shall be compensated by an equivalent period of rest taken en bloc before the end of the third week following the week in question. Where two reduced weekly rest periods have been taken consecutively in accordance with the third subparagraph of paragraph 6, the next weekly rest period shall be preceded by a rest period taken as compensation for those two reduced weekly rest periods.



* The added flexibility in this regard is essential to allow the operation to continue smoothly and remain compliant with the newly instated rules for a driver to return to base after 4 weeks. This is the most significant change, as previously taking 2 reduced weekly rests in tandem was considered a major breach. (Some exceptions exist with careful manipulation of compensation) All operator should take effort to learn this rule very clearly and use it with caution.


  • New provisions for rests and breaks for drivers when journeys involve transport by ferry or by rail


Article wording:

By way of derogation from Article 8, where a driver accompanies a vehicle which is transported by ferry or train and takes a regular daily rest period or a reduced weekly rest period, that period may be interrupted not more than twice by other activities not exceeding one hour in total. During that regular daily rest or reduced weekly rest period the driver shall have access to a sleeper cabin, bunk or couchette at their disposal.

With regard to regular weekly rest periods, that derogation shall only apply to ferry or train journeys where:

(a) the journey is scheduled for 8 hours or more; and
(b) the driver has access to a sleeper cabin in the ferry or on the train.’;

(b) paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:

‘2. Any time spent travelling to a location to take charge of a vehicle falling within the scope of this Regulation, or to return from that location, when the vehicle is neither at the driver’s home nor at the employer’s operational centre where the driver is normally based, shall not be counted as a rest or break unless the driver is on a ferry or train and has access to a sleeper cabin, bunk or couchette.



* Beware of the excessive wording complicating this additional flexibility. It is exactly as it appears. When taking rest during a ferry crossing of at least 8 hours or more, this time can be used as part of a reduced weekly rest now, as well as the previous allowance to take daily rest during this time. The remainder of the derogation is unchanged and continues to allow 2 interruptions, provided the driver has access to genuine sleeping facilities.



  • A new requirement to keep a full record of all other work

Article wording:

A driver shall record as other work any time spent as described in point (e) of Article 4 as well as any time spent driving a vehicle used for commercial operations that do not fall within the scope of this Regulation, and shall record any periods of availability, as defined in point (b) of Article 3 of Directive 2002/15/EC, in accordance with point (b)(iii) of Article 34(5) of Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (*). This record shall be entered either manually on a record sheet or printout or by use of manual input facilities on recording equipment.



* In the UK this has been the case for quite some time. That said, it has not always been enforced as directly as we expect to see it going forward. The operator does have some degree of freedom over the method of recording the additional time. Options include, using the digital tachograph ‘Manual Entry Function’ or by completing a record sheet/logbook. The different options will suit operations accordingly depending on the nature of the work.

Driver CPC online - iPad

Full Legislation Source: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2020/1054/oj


Should you have any further questions on these changes or Drivers’ Hours Legislation in general, feel free to get in touch via our website, or send an email to info@chartwise-online.com.

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