Road Transport (Working Time)

The Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations came into force in 2005. They restrict drivers to a 48-hour week, worked out over a 17-week qualifying period, although this can be extended to 26 weeks. No more than 60 hours can be worked in any one week during the qualifying period. Also, workers cannot work for more than six hours without taking a break.

Unlike the general Working Time Regulations, individuals are not permitted to opt out. Night-time workers cannot work for more than ten hours in a 24-hour period, and there are definitions of night-time work relating to whether drivers are carrying goods or passengers. The regulations were extended to self-employed drivers in 2009. The definition of self-employed is quite strict and basically revolves around not being tied to an employer.

Breaks, rests and periods of availability are not classed as working time. Broadly, a period of availability is defined as something which the driver knew about in advance, such as a ferry crossing or waiting for goods to be unloaded. For drivers who work in teams, sitting next to a driver is not classed as working time.