Better working conditions for truck drivers across the EU

Whilst coronavirus has meant that the daily life of drivers across Europe has become significantly more complicated, new rules passed in early July now mean that they will face better working conditions.

On 8​th July, a new mobility package was adopted across the sector, after being approved by both EU Ministers and MEPs.

Tighter enforcement of cabotage rules, rest times and more consistent postings of drivers are amongst the key elements of the package.

Whilst legislation enforcing the above elements already exists, the new framework offers more concise outlines for both drivers and their employers to adhere to.

Postings and their restrictions

Currently, it is not unusual for a small number of drivers to be relied upon by their employers. As road transportation can take drivers across countries and even continents, these drivers are often left wanting a better work/life balance.

Under the new regulations for the posting of drivers, workers will have greater stability and protection due to restrictions being placed upon sector-specific rules to allow for better working conditions and social protection. With the new legislation, drivers are no longer allowed to be posted to another member state for service contracts for long periods of time. Currently, the existing rules are enforced varyingly by different countries, however, the new regulations aim to enforce the rules on a consistent level, thus ensuring a fair approach for all drivers.

Cabotage

Cabotage is when a driver has a legal right to operate international deliveries within territories they are not residents of.

One issue of Cabotage is that it is currently possible for drivers to exploit their allowance, wherein an international driver may make a great number of deliveries on the same route. This may outprice drivers who reside within that country.

Under current EU rules drivers are only allowed to operate three Cabotage deliveries within a seven-day period. With the new legislation, this system remains unchanged. However, new outlines make the law much harder to bypass. Drivers now have to adopt a four-day ‘cooling-off’ period which now means they cannot perform multiple deliveries within a short timeframe, using the same vehicle.

Additionally, the driver must also report to the company’s operational centre every eight weeks to ensure that they are returning to their country of origin on a frequent basis.

Restrictions on Rest Periods

In order to ensure drivers retain a work/life balance, the new regulation stipulates that they cannot spend more than 45-hours ‘resting’ in their vehicle and must instead spend a suitable amount of time at home.

This prevents drivers from being based mainly on the road, where they are essentially living in their vans to optimise the amount of time that they can work. In order to help enforce the new rules, smart tachographs are to be installed on border crossings to monitor the movement of vehicles across country lines.

Are you affected by the new legislation? Do you find the new guidelines helpful or detrimental to your working week? Get in touch on our social media and let us know!

10 August 2020

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