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Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours

The DfT announced a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules for all road haulage sectors in Great Britain from 12:01am on 12 July 2021 to 11:59pm on 8 August 2021. This is in response to the well publicised shortage in drivers and pressures on local and national supply chains.

The temporary relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours applies to anyone driving in Great Britain (GB) under the retained EU drivers’ hours rules undertaking carriage of goods by road.  The relaxations are not limited to specific sectors or journeys in England, Scotland and Wales.

The retained EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows.

The replacement of either:

  • the permitted increase to the daily driving limit from 9 hours to 10 hours with one of 11 hours (allowed up to twice in 1 week)

OR

  • the requirement to take a regular weekly rest period of 45 hours in a 2-week period with an alternative pattern of weekly rest periods as specified below, and an increase to the fortnightly driving limit from 90 hours to 99 hours. This enables 2 consecutive reduced weekly rest periods to be taken

The alternative pattern of weekly rest periods for drivers using the relaxation related to weekly rest periods is as follows:

  • the regular weekly rest period in a 2-week period can be replaced by 2 reduced weekly rest periods of at least 24 hours
  • following this, 2 regular weekly rest periods must be taken. However, any reduction in weekly rest shall be compensated for in the normal way by an equivalent period of rest taken before the end of the third week following the week in question
  • in addition, any rest taken as compensation for a reduced weekly rest period shall be attached to a regular weekly rest period of at least 45 hours (which can be split over 2 regular weekly rest periods).

This relaxation must not be used in combination with existing rules for international driving, which allow for 2 consecutive reduced weekly rest breaks in certain circumstances.

It is not recommended this relaxation be used for drivers engaged partly in international journeys.

The DfT reserves the right to withdraw the relaxation earlier, or extend the relaxation, if circumstances change.

For more information on the relaxation and how to use it see, Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules: all road haulage sectors in Great Britain – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

To manage your drivers’ hours and note exceptions see SmartAnalysis, the UK’s leading tachograph analysis and reporting service for fleets of all sizes.

Posted on: 27.07.2021

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