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
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.’