Working Time

The Road Transport Directive (RTD)

Who does this affect?

Generally speaking, this affects mobile workers, especially those who are required to use a tachograph under EU Drivers’ Hours regulations. It includes self-employed drivers. However, the regulations also cover other “mobile” workers who are involved in operations subject to EU Drivers’ Hours regulations. It will also include non-driving crew members such as porters, drivers’ mates, draymen, attendants, and security staff carrying high value goods and conductors in passenger operations.

The regulations do not apply to van drivers, drivers exempt from EU Drivers’ Hours regulations or those that occasionally drive under EU Drivers’ Hours regulations – such drivers will be covered under the main Working Time Regulations 1998.

Since 11 May 2012, the self-employed (i.e, owner-operators) are no longer exempt from the RTD. However, their working time spent on administration does not count towards the weekly maximum of 60 or the average of 48 hours working time.


How is working time defined?

The RTD defines working time as the time from the beginning of work during which mobile workers are at their workplace and at the disposal of the employer and are actively carrying out their daily duties - i.e, the time devoted to all road transport activities.

This includes:

•    Driving

•    Loading/unloading

•    Training conducted as part of the normal day and of the commercial operation

•    Cleaning and maintenance of the vehicle

•    Work which is intended to ensure vehicle safety – for example, monitoring loading/unloading and carrying out daily defect checks and reporting

•    Periods during which mobile workers cannot freely dispose of their time and are required to be at their place of work, ready to take up normal work

•    Waiting periods where the foreseeable duration is not known in advance, either before departure or just before the start of the period in question

•    Administrative formalities or work relating to legal or regulatory obligations directly linked to the specific transport operations under way.

This does not include:

•    Routine travel between their home and normal place of work

•    Rest and breaks when no work is being done

•    Periods of availability

•    Evening classes or day-release courses

•    Voluntary work and activities outside the definition of working time (i.e. a part-time retained fire fighter or a special constable).  It is important that employers know about such activities as they may infringe upon daily and weekly rest as required under EC561/2006 – the drivers’ hours rules.

Further information

For further information contact the helpdesk, your area manager or regional office.