Roadway Update 10 June 2020

10th June 2020

COVID-19 isolation exemption for international drivers

The Government has released new information on the exemption for truckers from the 14-day isolation when returning to the UK.

This link gives an extensive list of occupations and situations where isolation is, and is not required.

International freight drivers are exempt from the need to isolate for 14 days on entry into the UK, but it is clear, that the exemption is only valid when the driver is entering for work purposes.

Find out more here.

Treasury support far too difficult to access, RHA tells Home Secretary

The RHA has urged home secretary Priti Patel to intervene with the Treasury as frustration among hauliers grows as a result of not getting the support they need to drive economic recovery.

In a letter to the Home Office, RHA chief exec Richard Burnett said that the Association had been working hard with the Department for Transport to ease the pressures on businesses reeling from the COVID-19 crisis.

"Treasury support is proving to be far too difficult to access," he said. "Hauliers are worried that they could be insolvent within the next four weeks."

He concluded by saying that it was ‘inconceivable’ to expect businesses to take on extra staff and associated costs with no interim revenue streams to support them.

We will, of course, let you know the response to the letter as soon as it becomes available.

Furloughing staff for the first time – the new rules

Furlough rules are changing. The last date you can furlough an employee for the first time is today, Wednesday 10 June.

From Wednesday 1 July the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS) will only be available to firms who’ve used it before – and only then for staff who’ve already been on it.

To qualify after that date an employee must have been furloughed for a full three-week period before Tuesday 30 June. Hence, you’ll need to get staff on the scheme by Wednesday 10 June if it’s their first time.

Find out more here.

Trade Credit Insurance to see up to £10bn government guarantee

It’s good news for hauliers as government announces a £10bn guarantee to support thousands of businesses by protecting against customer defaults or payment delays.

The Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme, which has been agreed following extensive discussions with the insurance sector, will see the vast majority of trade credit insurance coverage maintained across the UK.

Recently an RHA survey of 600 road haulage operators revealed that the vast majority are still struggling after pandemic lockdown measures have seen volumes collapse.

Sixteen percent of operators claimed they could be insolvent within four weeks, with government furlough payments and bounce back loans only offering a temporary reprieve.

Find out more here.


Govt: truckers must have access to toilets – it’s the law

The Department for Transport (DfT) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have reminded firms that lorry drivers must have access to toilets and hand washing facilities.

They said businesses which make or receive deliveries should ensure that truckers have easy and safe access to toilets and hand washing facilities to support their health and wellbeing whilst working.

In a letter issued last week Baroness Vere made it clear that preventing access is against the law, pointing to Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Operators are advised to provide their drivers a copy of the letter so that it can be shown as confirmation of the regulations should the need arise.

Find out more here.

HGV roadworthiness testing – set to reopen from 15 June

DVSA intends to reopen the HGV roadworthiness testing system from Monday 15 June.

It will be a limited service and some areas will not get coverage initially – operators will need to check if ATFs get tests allocated by DVSA from 15 June.

Officials indicate that tests will prioritise international operators and those seen by DVSA as higher risk, e.g. operators with red risk ratings and vehicles the traffic commissioners identify as needing a test. 
How this will be managed is unclear at the moment.

Lorries due for roadworthiness test in June will automatically be issued with a Certificate of Exemption by DVSA.

HGVs are currently exempt from undergoing an MOT for three months from 21 March.