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Brussels, 15 October 2008

Road transport: new working time directive to cover false self-employed drivers

The European Commission adopted today a proposal to modify the directive on working time in road transport. The new proposal aims to ensure that the existing working time rules apply to all employed professional drivers, including false self-employed workers.

"It is essential that all drivers dependent upon a single employer enjoy the same level of social protection", said Antonio Tajani, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport. "Europe cannot tolerate risks to road safety, unfair competition and circumvention of social protection arising where employers require their workers to declare themselves to be self-employed".

The Commission proposes today to clarify Directive 2002/15/EC[1] in order to guarantee that so-called 'false self-employed drivers'[2] are fully covered by the rules concerning mobile workers and reinforce controls to ensure a correct application of this legislation. The proposal also intends to enhance cooperation among Member States by exchanging information and good practices as well as promoting a common approach to implementation.

Furthermore, current night time provisions are to be aligned with other EU legislation.

[1] Council Directive 2002/15/EC concerning the organisation of total working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities.

[2] False self-employment arises where the improper classification of employment status is used as a means to evade statutory labour provisions and obligations, and a method to reduce labour costs. The workers concerned stay economically dependent. This bogus type of self-employment results in circumvention of social protection and exclusion from basic workers rights.

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