At Transmode, we have kept you updated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, offering you the latest advice and safety guidance. Whilst lockdown is gradually easing and most hauliers continue to work at full capacity, there are still important changes being made to haulier rules in the wake of the pandemic.
On the 20th August 2020 new changes to the EU driving rules are coming into place. Here, we take you through every change on the horizon, allowing you to adapt to the changes quickly and correctly.
The new EU driver rules cover a wide range of affairs, from rest breaks to working records. The new guidelines for rest breaks include a ban on taking regular weekly breaks in the driver’s cab and they stipulate new provisions for rests when a driver is required to take a ferry or train. There are also new clauses requiring drivers to return home every month.
One of the new rules states that all drivers should ‘return home’ for a rest period every four weeks. The government stipulates that transport companies should schedule the work of drivers so that they are able to return to either the employer’s operational centre or the driver’s place of residence once every four week for their weekly rest period of 45 hours.
This ensures that drivers do not spend extended periods of time away from their home, encouraging them to rest properly and safely.
The EU rules already state that drivers should have at least 11 hours rest everyday, which can be reduced to 9 hours rest 3 times every fortnight. This rule stays in place from the 20th August.
On a weekly basis, the new rules have offered drivers who work on the international carriage of goods increased flexibility on the scheduling of their weekly rest periods. In any fortnight, drivers can now take either;
1. Two weekly rest periods
2. One weekly rest period and one reduced weekly rest period of 24 hours
This reduced rest period is compensated by an equivalent rest-period in the following week, ensuring that every driver takes full advantage of their rest time.
Whilst these changes do offer drivers more flexibility whilst they are in a period of high demand, the rules do maintain that rest periods should always start within six 24 hour periods of the last weekly rest period, ensuring that rest periods are spaced out.
The new rules also introduce a ban on driver’s taking their weekly rest periods in their vehicle. The European Parliament states that ‘breaks shall be taken in suitable gender-friendly accommodation with adequate sleeping and sanitary facilities’ stating that ‘any costs for accommodation outside the vehicle shall be covered by the employer’.
If a driver is forced to take their weekly break on a ferry or a train, the new rules stipulate that they must have access to a sleeper cabin, bunk or couchette for their rest space. This travel rest period should not be interrupted more than twice for other work-related activities of up to an hour in total.
The new rules also outline a new definition of ‘non-commercial carriage’, which is as follows:
‘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’. Read more here.
Lastly, the new changes ensure that drivers keep a full record of any other work that they carry out outside of commercial regulations on a tachograph, ensuring consistency and accuracy in working records.
Here at Transmode, we are operating as normal, adhering to the new regulations set forward by the EU. We pride ourselves on providing a professional and efficient haulage service to our valued customers. We are also looking for subcontractors who are able to operate COVID-responsibly and within the new rules, so please get in touch if you’d like to join our growing network of drivers.