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Temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours rules to aid essential deliveries

The Department for Transport has announced a temporary relaxation of the EU drivers’ hours rules for drivers making essential deliveries to consumers’ homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

The DfT says the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and/or driver representatives

In effect from Friday 20 March to 3 April 2020, it applies to drivers of vehicles involved in the delivery of food, non-food (personal care and household paper and cleaning), over the counter pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies when undertaking journeys involving the manufacturer, store/distribution centre or customer’s home.

In such situations, the GB drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed to replace the GB duty time limit of 11 hours with 12 hours and to replace the GB daily driving time limit of 10 hours with 11 hours.

Drivers can only take advantage of this temporary relaxation five days in any seven-day period, and must take a rest period of 24 hours within the same seven-day period when taking advantage of this relaxation.

The move will be reviewed on 25 March 2020.

The DfT added: “The department wishes to make clear that driver safety must not be compromised. Drivers should not be expected to drive whilst tired – employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees and other road users.

“The practical implementation of the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and/or driver representatives.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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