Last reviewed 4 October 2021

The Department for Transport (DfT) introduction of a temporary relaxation of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules from 12 July until 8 August was recently extended until the end of September with trade union, Unite, reporting that the Government was planning on take it even further.

Whilst the Government did not comment on that speculation, it did publish the Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Temporary Exceptions) (No 3) Regulations 2021 on 3 September.

The new regulations, which can be found – here, confirm that further temporary exceptions are to be allowed to some of the requirements in Regulation (EC) 561/2006 – the Drivers’ Hours Regulation –- which forms part of retained EU law.

The temporary exceptions provide for some relaxations in respect of drivers’ hours and rest periods for the period from 4 to 31 October, the Regulations state.

They have been issued as a response to, “the adverse impact on the carriage by road of goods caused by the exceptional circumstances arising from cumulative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, an acute shortage of goods vehicle drivers and unusual fuel buying patterns”.

The Regulations state that, “the driver may exceed the total accumulated driving time during any two consecutive weeks of 90 hours by up to nine hours” and also include the possibility of reduced weekly rest periods.