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Transport and the Working Time Directive - industry faces massive costs, April 29, 2004
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FTA Press Release

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Transport and the Working Time Directive - industry faces massive costs, April 29, 2004

The Freight Transport Association has secured three key wins for the industry in how the EU regulations reducing working time will be applied in the UK. Within an hour of the announcement, FTA’s Working Time team was in front of Department for Transport officials, devilling out the detail. The announcement made by the Government today (29 April) are the decisions made following consultation with industry on the detail of the UK implementation of the Directive. FTA welcomes the announcement but warns that regulations will still impose costs in excess of £1 billion on the industry and severely affect productivity.

The Government has positively responded to FTA’s key requests for:-
      12 hour night shifts
      Night work definition as midnight to 4.00 am
      A 26 week averaging period for the 48 hour week

FTA Chief Executive Richard Turner says, ‘I welcome these decisions made by Transport Minister, David Jamieson, and his Government colleagues for recognising the enormous problems imposed on the transport industry by the compulsory reductions in the working week. FTA has campaigned long and hard to ensure that the regulations minimise the impact that this loss of manpower and productivity will have, whilst safeguarding the welfare of drivers.

‘Much of the flexibility offered will inevitably depend on workforce agreements. However, a decision on the definition of ‘periods of availability’ is still missing from this announcement. This is a ‘keystone’ issue which will affect every operator and driver because it will define what is and what isn’t to be included in the working calculation.

‘The Road Transport Directive is the most serious and expensive compliance legislation the industry has ever faced. The difficulties of reducing a current average working week of 55 hours down to a maximum of 48 hours – a loss of almost 15 per cent – simply cannot be over emphasised.

‘Complying with this legislation will be a big challenge for the transport industry and its efforts to minimise the inevitable costs imposed on its customers and, consequently, the consumer. FTA’s big task, now that the rules are being finalised, is to ensure that operators have the best possible advice and guidance on how to re-plan their operations. The success of this re-planning operation will now heavily depend on the way employees and employers engage, to ensure that flexibilities that have been provided are used to good effect.’

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