For a ‘Europe on the move’ road transport has to be ‘fair’, or in other words ‘with appropriate protection for workers and conditions conducive to fair competition between businesses,” explained Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner in charge of Employment, following the adoption on 31 May of the mobility package that includes a series of initiatives addressing transport drivers’ working conditions.

In a bid to tackle social dumping by Eastern Europe transportation businesses the Commissioner is proposing that drivers involved in cross border transport for periods greater than three days within any given month benefit from the host country’s rules on the minimum wage and leave periods. The plan sets out rules for calculating the key three days (six hours of work equate to one full working day and under six hours counts as a half day and stand-by periods also count). The package also sets out the requirements that may be imposed on businesses, for instance although a designated representative may no longer be required in the host country a statement of posting of workers would be. Thus during any transport documentation check, the driver should be able to produce data readings recorded in the vehicle tachograph, a copy of the employment contract translated in the host country’s language or in English, as well as pay slips covering the previous two months, although these may be furnished in digital format. In addition, all cabotage activities will come under the host country’s legislation.

The EU Commission also intends to address the system of letterbox companies.
Another section of the package addresses scheduling transport drivers’ working time and it introduces the requirement to keep a time record that is linked to transport activity and driver stand-by availability and it sets out the principle that rest-times should be taken in an appropriate place outside the vehicle, the costs of which should be born by the employer when they are not taken at the driver’s home. Work should be organized such that rest times are taken at home at least once every three weeks. Furthermore, rest time arrangements are to be less strict. A consultation on working time with the sector’s social partners has been launched. The EU Commission is relying on the features of the tachograph in a bid to ensure that the new regulations are fully applied.

For a full rundown of the initiatives click here.