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Organisation of working time in respect of road transport activities

This directive lays down minimum standards to protect the health and safety of road workers. It also aims at avoiding distortions to competition within the Community and improving road safety.

ACT

Directive 2002/15/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2002 on the organisation of working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities.

SUMMARY

The basic directive concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time provides for the replacement of its general provisions with more specific requirements. This is the case for transport. For this particular sector, Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 lays down the maximum daily driving time and the minimum duration of the rest periods.

The Directive supplements the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006. Consequently, the provisions of this Regulation in regard to breaks, rest periods and driving periods continue to apply to the self-employed drivers * and to the mobile workers * concerned.

The Directive applies to all mobile workers performing road transport activities employed by undertakings established in a Member State as well as to self-employed drivers (from 23 March 2009). The provisions of this sectoral directive take precedence over the relevant provisions of the basic directive on the organisation of working time because it contains more specific provisions as regards workers.

The Directive establishes:

  • that the average weekly working time may not exceed 48 hours. It can be extended to 60 hours only if an average of 48 hours per week is not exceeded within a period of four months. For mobile workers, working time * is the sum of the working hours spent working for different employers. The mobile worker must inform the employer concerned in writing of working time performed for another employer;
  • an obligation to take a break after six hours of work in addition to the provisions on breaks in Regulation (EC) No 561/2006;
  • that daily working time may not exceed 10 hours for each period of 24 hours for night workers *;
  • that records are kept of the workers’ working time. Member States must take the measures necessary to ensure that the employer posts or displays in a place accessible to all workers a copy of this Directive and of the corresponding domestic law. The employer is required to record the working time of mobile workers and to keep these records for at least one year.

It is for the Member States to decide upon the penalties for infringement. These penalties must be effective, commensurate with the infringement and constitute a sufficient deterrent.

Every two years Member States must report to the Commission on the implementation of this directive indicating the viewpoints of the social partners. The Commission must produce a report every two years on the implementation of this Directive by Member States, which is then forwarded to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.

Background

On 15 July 1997 the Commission adopted a White Paper on sectors and activities excluded from the 1993 working time directive in which it proposed several approaches designed to protect the health and safety of workers in the sectors excluded from the basic Directive.

Following consultations with the social partners, the Commission concluded, in its Communication of 31 March 1998 that nothing justified treating "mobile" workers and "non-mobile workers" in a different way and that therefore the basic principles of the working time directive should apply to all workers.

Subsequently, the social partners tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an agreement concerning mobile workers in road transport activities. The Commission therefore presented a Proposal for a Directive laying down a number of more specific requirements relating to working time for road transport.

Key terms used in the act
  • Working time:
    • mobile workers: the time devoted to all road transport activities, (driving, loading and unloading, assisting passengers boarding and disembarking from the vehicle, cleaning and technical maintenance, and work intended to ensure the safety of the vehicle, its cargo and passengers or to fulfil the legal or regulatory obligations directly linked to the specific transport operation under way). Also included are the times during which he cannot dispose freely of his time and is required to be at his workstation, ready to take up normal work.
    • self-employed drivers: the time from the beginning to the end of work, during which the self employed driver is at his workstation, at the disposal of the client and exercising his functions or activities other than general administrative work that is not directly linked to the specific transport operation under way.
  • Mobile workers: any worker forming part of the travelling staff, including trainees and apprentices, who is in the service of an undertaking which operates transport services for passengers or goods by road for hire or reward or on its own account;
  • Self-employed driver: anyone whose main occupation is to transport passengers or goods by road for hire or reward under cover of a Community licence or any other professional authorisation to carry out the aforementioned transport; who is entitled to work for himself and who is not tied to an employer by an employment contract or by any other type of working hierarchical relationship, who is free to organise the relevant working activities, whose income depends directly on the profits made and who has the freedom to, individually or through a cooperation between self-employed drivers, have commercial relations with several customers.
  • Night time: a period of at least four hours, as defined by national law, between 00.00 hours and 07.00 hours.
  • Night work: any work performed during night time.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2002/15/EC [adoption: codecision COD/1998/319]

23.3.2002

23.3.2005

OJ L 80 of 23.3.2002

RELATED ACTS

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 October 2008 amending Directive 2002/15/EC on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities [ COM(2008) 650 - Not published in the Official Journal].
The Proposal should amend Directive 2002/15/EC in order to clarify its scope and redefine some of its provisions.

The Proposal provides for the exclusion of the self-employed from the scope of the Directive, but also specifically aims to cover false self-employed drivers. From now on, ‘mobile worker’ shall also include any person who is not tied to an employer by an employment contract or by a hierarchical relationship, but:

  • who does not have the freedom to organise their working activities;
  • whose income does not depend directly on the profits made;
  • who does not have the freedom, individually or through a cooperation between self-employed drivers, to have relations with several customers.

In addition, the Proposal redefines night work, which should correspond to a period of work which includes at least two hours work performed during night time.

Member States should enhance cooperation with regard to enforcement of working time. In this context, they should also improve the exchange of information between national administrative authorities and promote dialogue with representatives from the transport sector.

Report from the Commission on the implementation in 2005-2006 of Directive 2002/15/EC on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities (1st Report from the Commission on the implementation of the working time rules relating to road transport) [COM(2009) 415 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
The Report notes delays in transposing Directive 2002/15/EC on the part of most Member States. Data collected by the Member States will allow the impact of the Directive on compliance with social legislation to be assessed.

Report from Commission - Analysing the penalties for serious infringements against the social rules in road transport, as provided for in the legislation of Member States [COM(2009) 225 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
Most Member States have established penalties for infringements of Directive 2002/15. Penalties differ from State to State. They are however of several types:

  • fixed fines or day fines;
  • immobilisation of the vehicle;
  • criminal penalties in cases of repeated or recurrent infringements (withdrawal of a driving licence, imprisonment);
  • penalties for undertakings, including in cases of infringements committed on the territory of another Member State or third country.

In application of the principle of extra-territoriality, penalties for infringement may be imposed by the competent authorities of a Member State, even where the infringement has been committed on the territory of another Member Sate or of a third country. The penalty to be applied is that of the Member State which initiates proceedings.

Last updated: 15.12.2009
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