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Costly impact of new Working Time rules for Drivers

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As from Monday 4 April 2005, drivers in the road transport sector will have to abide by strict new rules limiting the amount of time they can work. Broadway based Solicitors, Hegarty & Co, are warning companies of the potential increased costs not only for the haulage sector, but also those companies who use their services.

Employment Partner, Martin Bloom, explained, “The new rules generally affect workers who operate vehicles that are fitted with a tachograph. The Road Transport Regulations will limit the working time to an average 48-hour week, which is a significant reduction from the 55-hour week that is believed to be the current average for drivers.”

The new regulations have been introduced to improve working conditions for drivers, but also with the aim of improving road safety.

Mr Bloom explained, “The new regulations are the most important changes to the haulage industry for many years. Employers in the transport industry have been angered by the new rules, especially since unlike other working time regulations the drivers are not able to opt-out of the clause. Also, employers must tell their workers about the new regulations, and retain the drivers working time records for 2 years.”

The new regulations are expected to have a major impact on the haulage industry. The sector will need to recruit more staff to cope with the changes, which will be especially difficult as the Eastern region already has problems recruiting drivers.

“The staff shortage may well result in drivers demanding higher wages. This is likely to have a knock on effect to other businesses as the haulage industry may increase their own prices to cope with the enforced changes,” concluded Mr Bloom.

March 2005




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