17/08/20

Are drivers, as a result of the new legislation, obliged to return "home" each 4 weeks?

by Armin Wintein
There are still many uncertainties surrounding the new EU-rules on driving times and rest periods. In particular, many employers are wondering whether their drivers should actually go home every four weeks. Leeward explains it to you.


Leeward

The new European regulation stipulates that the employer has to organize the working scheme of its drivers in such a way that they, after a period of four (or three weeks in case of two consecutive reduced weekly rests), can return “home”.

The possibility to go home is designed to allow drivers to spend their rest time in the presence of their families if they so wish. Therefore, the length of the stay at ‘home’ corresponds with the weekly rest period. This is, depending on circumstances, either the normal weekly rest period or the normal weekly rest period + the compensation for the reduced weekly rest period.

"Home" is defined as the driver's place of residence, or the operational center of the employer where the driver is normally based. However, Consideration 14 of the Regulation explicitly states that the drivers are free to choose where to spend their weekly rest period. Therefore, drivers are not obligated to return home and are allowed to stay in the country where he is working. It is currently debated who, in this case, has to bear the costs for accommodation. In Leeward's opinion, this will in general be the employer.

It is furthermore important to note that the starting point of the weekly rest period is when the driver arrives home. The travelling time to get home is not taken into account (unless the driver is heading home by boat or by train and he can sleep in a sleeping compartment).

Do not hesitate to contact us when you have questions regarding this issue.

Leeward

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Advice for transport to the UK

Leeward advises you on transport to the UK.
Road haulage companies carrying out transport orders to/from the UK run the risk of illegal migrants hiding in the vehicles in the hope of getting across the Channel unseen.