Last checked: 15/04/2021

Road transportation workers

Weekly working time

If you hire workers engaged in road transportation activities, you must make sure that they respect the average weekly working time of 48 hours. You can extend it if required, to a maximum of 60 hours, but only if your staff work an average of 48 hours a week over a 4-month period.

An employee is considered a transportation worker when they:


If you are a self-employed driver, you can consider working time when you are required to be at your workstation/vehicle, at the disposal of the client or undertaking transport activities

As an employer, remember that your staff can only drive up to a maximum of 9 hours per day. Exceptionally – twice a week – your employees are allowed to drive up to 10 hours per day. They cannot drive more than 56 hours per week and their total fortnightly driving time cannot exceed 90 hours.

Sample story

You hire a driver to transport your goods to another EU country. During the course of one week, he drives for 56 hours and does 4 hours of vehicle maintenance - a total of 60 hours. To respect EU law he has to work less than 48 hours another week to compensate because over the 4-month reference period he has to respect the average weekly working time of 48 hours.

Breaks during the working day

Your staff should not work for more than 6 consecutive hours without a break. If your staff work between 6 and 9 hours, they must take a break of at least 30 minutes. If they work for more than 9 hours, then they must stop working for at least 45 minutes.

After a driving period of 4.5 hours, your drivers have to take an uninterrupted break of at least 45 minutes, unless they take a rest period. If they prefer, your employees can split this long break into two, the first lasting at least 15 minutes followed by a second break of at least 30 minutes.

Rest periods

You must guarantee your staff a daily rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours, which you can reduce to 9 hours for a maximum of 3 times per week. You can split daily rest into two parts: the first must be at least 3 hours, the second at least 9 hours. If you split the daily rest period, the sum of the two periods must be at least 12 hours.

Your employees should have an unbroken rest period of 45 hours per week, which you can reduce to 24 hours every second week. If you reduce the weekly rest period, you must agree on compensation arrangements with your staff.

Your workers must take a weekly rest after 6 consecutive days of working. If your coach drivers occasionally transport passengers and drive at least 24 consecutive hours in another EU or non-EU country, they can postpone their weekly rest. They can wait for up to 12 days to take it, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken.

Sample story

You own a travel company in Slovenia and want to organise a 10-day coach trip to Portugal, with some stops in other EU countries. The trip starts on 11 April and ends on 21 April. Your coach driver has 48 hours rest during the weekend of 9 and 10 April and starts driving on 11 April. Following the rules on rest periods, he is allowed to start his weekly rest after the end of the trip. However, his rest period must start no later than 12 days after that 11 April, which means no later than 23 April.

Night work

If your staff perform any activity between midnight and 7a​m, they are considered night workers. If they do night work, your employees can work up to a maximum of 10 hours (including the night shift hours) in each 24-hour period.

Related topics

EU legislation

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Get advice on EU rules that apply to your business / solve problems with a public authority

Local business support

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border , for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

More assistance services

Share this page: