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Working Time Directive for HGV Drivers 2022

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Working Time Directive for HGV Drivers 2022

If you’re an HGV driver, you’re probably aware of just how confusing the laws surrounding your working hours can be. In this article, we want to create a simple, easy-to-digest guide surrounding HGV driver working hours, so you can be more certain about what your rights are.

A note about Brexit

Firstly, if you’re wondering whether Brexit has had any effect on the Working Time Directive’s implementation in the UK, you will be pleased to know that this set of laws still remains in place, despite the fact that we’re no longer in the EU.

EU rules around driving hours

  • HGV drivers have a 9-hour daily driving limit, so if you are asked to do more than this, you have the right to refuse. It’s worth noting, though, that this 9-hour limit can be increased to 10 hours twice a week.
  • You have a weekly maximum driving limit of 56 hours, but you have a fortnightly limit of 90 hours. Be mindful of this when you’re working longer stints, as it’s easy for transport managers to forget how these limits work!

EU rules around driving breaks

You are required to take a 45-minute break after 4.5 hours of driving unless you are taking a rest period, so make sure that you utilise this to the fullest to get all the rest that you require. 

It’s worth noting that the driving period doesn’t have to be 4.5 hours all in one go, it can be a series of shorter driving periods. You don’t have to take your break all in one go either, you can take a 15-minute break followed by a 30-minute break if you’d prefer. However, any break that’s less than fifteen minutes isn’t considered a break, nor is it considered driving time, so try to stick to strict timings when taking breaks.

EU rules around driver rests

You are entitled to a daily rest period of 11 hours, which can be taken as one long rest or as two separate rests. If you take your rest in two parts, the first must be at least three hours, and the following rest should be at least 9 hours. So, if you take your rest in two parts, you are entitled to 12 rest hours in total. You are allowed to cut down your rest period to 9 hours, but you can only do this 3 times a week.

You are also entitled to a weekly extended rest of 45 hours. However, this can be reduced to 24 hours so long as you take a full rest period at least once in a fortnight.

Working Time Directive rules

  • Working time: On average, your working time shouldn’t exceed 48 hours a week. This is usually calculated over a period of 17 weeks. You can work up to a maximum of 60 hours in a  week, but of course this still has to be squared with your 48-hour average.
  • Breaks: You cannot drive for more than 4.5 hours without a break, and a break should be 45 minutes at a minimum. (Note that this rule may sometimes be in conflict with the EU rules, and the EU rules should take precedence if that’s the case.)
  • Rests: The Working Time Directive rules surrounding rests function the same as the EU rules which are listed above.

Health & Safety Training is one of the leading providers of HGV driver training and other forms of professional training throughout the North East. If you would like to learn more about our services, please get in touch.

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