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Review of working time regulations announced

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The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced terms of reference for a review of the working time regulations which implement the European Road Transport Working Time Directive.

This particular directive and its associated regulations applies to drivers, crew and other travelling staff.

It provides for a 48-hour average working week, a 60-hour maximum for any single week and a 10-hour maximum in any 24-hour period if working at night.

When implementing the directive, the government worked closely with industry and unions and it was agreed that a review of both the regulations and the associated formal guidance would take place in the light of practical experience.

Transport minister Stephen Ladyman said: “This review will help us to consider key elements of the Regulations in the light of practical experience and to ensure that our arrangements remain relevant.

“We worked closely with employers and unions in making the regulations and I am very pleased that we will be continuing that constructive partnership.”

The review will be undertaken by a working group involving DfT, trade associations and unions. It will focus on:


  • use and interpretation of ‘periods of availability’ – waiting time known about in advance, a key issue for many stakeholders

  • the exemption for ‘occasional’ mobile workers

  • treatment of leave

  • compliance with, and enforcement of, the regulations

  • the administrative burden placed on business by the regulations.


The review will be in two stages – the first will develop a robust evidence base while the second focuses on analysis of the evidence and, if appropriate, development of options for change.

It is hoped to complete both stages by August 2007 and any resulting proposals for change will be subject to public consultation.

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