Working time: Consultation on the Road Transport Directive (2002/15/EC)

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5. Break and Rest Periods

5.1 This section sets out the mandatory break and rest requirements under the Road Transport Directive (RTD). For apprentices and trainees, the daily and weekly rest requirements will mirror the existing requirements under EU drivers' hours rules. Drivers will, of course, be subject to those requirements directly. Similarly, when driving, the existing break requirements under the EU drivers' hours rules will take precedence. However, when driving is mixed with other work, the break provisions under the RTD will sometimes apply in addition.

Daily Rest

5.2 When driving, the EU drivers' hours rules require 11 consecutive hours rest in each period of 24 hours (calculated from the moment the driver commences work), with the possibility of reducing this to 9 consecutive hours up to 3 times a week. Alternatively, 12 hours rest may be taken in two or three periods, the last of which must be at least 8 consecutive hours long.

Weekly Rest

5.3 The EU drivers' hours rules require 45 consecutive hours weekly rest, but this can be reduced down to 36 or 24 hours (depending upon where it is taken) provided that any reduction is compensated for within three weeks. Rest requirements, are additional to any paid annual leave entitlement that drivers are entitled to under other working time legislation.

Breaks

5.4 The EU drivers' hours rules require a break of 45 minutes after 4½ hours cumulative or continuous driving (or 2 or 3 breaks of no less than 15 minutes during or immediately after the driving period). However, the break requirements under the RTD may still have an impact on those workers who do a mixture of driving and non-driving work.

5.5 The RTD requires;

  • that mobile workers should not work more than 6 consecutive hours without taking a break.
  • If working hours total between 6 and 9 hours a day, a break of at least 30 minutes is required.
  • Working time should be interrupted with a break of 45 minutes if working hours total more than 9 hours a day.
  • Like the existing EU drivers' hours rules, breaks can be divided up into 15 minute intervals.

5.6 When taking a break, drivers may not perform anything that might be regarded as "other work" during this period.

Breaks at the Workstation:

5.7 Breaks taken under the Road Transport Directive may be taken at the workstation, including the driver's cab.

Examples of Mixed Working:

1. ½ hour other work + 4½ hour driving triggers a 45 minute break under EU drivers hours rules. Another 4½ hours driving triggers another 45 minute break under EU drivers hours rules. No breaks taken under the RTD. Daily break time = 90 minutes

Examples of Breaks - Example 1

2. 4 hours other work + 2 hours driving triggers a break (30 minutes) under RTD. Another 3 hours work (9 hours in total) and another 15 minute break is needed under the RTD. Total breaks = 45 minutes

Examples of Breaks - Example 2

3. Three hours driving + 2 hours other work + 1 hour driving will trigger 30 minute break under the RTD. Another ½ of driving, requiring another 15 minute break under the EU drivers rules. No further breaks are required. Daily break time = 45 minutes

Examples of Breaks - Example 3

4. 3 hours driving + 2 hours availability + 3 hour other work triggers the 30 minute break requirement under the RTD. Another 1½ hours driving triggers the remaining 15 minutes under EU drivers' hours rules. No further breaks are required. Daily break = 45 minutes. (If all the conditions are met, the a driver could take his mandatory break during the PoA)

diagram

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