Temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours rules amended

1 June 2020

We have reported previously on Government moves to adjust the rules concerning driving time to assist transport operators trying to keep supply lines open during the coronavirus crisis (see Relaxation of drivers’ hours rules: all sectors).

It announced a temporary measure to relax the enforcement of both the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules until 31 May 2020.

Operators should now note that the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that the temporary relaxation to the EU drivers’ hours rules has not been extended and finished as planned at 23:59 on 31 May 2020.

However, although it will be kept under review, the relaxation to domestic GB drivers’ hours rules will remain in place until 23:59 on 14 June 2020.

Anyone driving under the GB drivers’ hours rules and undertaking carriage of goods by road can use this relaxation, where necessary. It is not limited to specific sectors or journeys.

The temporary relaxation still in force allows:

  • replacement of the GB duty time limit of 11 hours with 12 hours

  • replacement of the GB daily driving time limit of 10 hours with 11 hours.

Drivers can only take advantage of this on five days in any seven day period, and must take a rest period of 24 hours within the same seven day period when taking advantage of this relaxation.

“We believe the relaxations should be used by drivers involved in the carriage of essential goods by road; such as for example, the carriage of medical equipment/supplies (including oxygen and clinical waste); and the delivery of essential food and hygiene items (including animal feed and milk collection),” the DfT said.

Guidance for furloughed drivers

The DfT has also issued guidance for employers and drivers on how being furloughed will affect the working time rules that apply to mobile workers.

The guidance, available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/furloughed-drivers-and-recording-mobile-working-time , will help operators and drivers to understand how they should record activities on tachographs, or by manual record, when furloughed, including when undertaking other work.