The temporary relaxation of the enforcement of HGV drivers’ hours has been extended further as driver shortages continue to impact all sectors.
The Department for Transport has extended the relaxation, which was set to end on Sunday (3 October), until 31 October. You can read the full announcement at Gov.uk.
It was reported in Personnel Today that the DfT had also been considering prolonging the temporary measures until 23 January 2022, but a spokesperson for the DfT would not confirm this. As we enter the peak retail season with no end of the driver shortage in sight it would be a complete surprise if the relaxation was not extended into 2022.
HGV drivers can only drive for 10 hours per day and must take a break of at least 45 minutes after four-and-a-half hours on the road. However, the temporary measures have increased the daily limit to 11 hours and a total of 99 hours per fortnight (usually 90) with rest periods also reduced.
Unite said the continued relaxation of maximum driving limits would not solve the labour crisis and could compromise safety. A 2019 Unite survey found that 54% of lorry drivers work more than 50 hours a week and that three quarters report problems with their physical health due to long hours.
A DfT spokesperson said “The set of measures we have introduced to alleviate HGV driver shortages do not compromise on safety”
What do you think?
For help with managing your drivers' hours whatever the rules and relaxations see SmartAnalysis.