Last month, the much-awaited Mobility Package, a massive reform of the EU rules governing road transport, was finally adopted. Today, the provisions relating to the driving and rest time rules will start to apply. On this important occasion, the ETF has prepared a first trade union practical guide, an overview of the changes brought on by the new provisions. The guide will be shared with the road inspectorates of the Member States.
Without a doubt, the main wins of new driving and rest time provisions are the requirement for the drivers to return home or to the company operational base, and the explicit interdiction to take the weekly rest in the cabin of the vehicle.
These measures improve the driver’s working and living conditions considerably. Moreover, they will make it easier for the control authorities to determine whether the driver is genuinely posted or not and whether companies comply with posting and establishment rules.
Following years of thousands of drivers having been made to take their weekly rest in trucks, discreetly, away from the public eye, change is here. Starting today, these drivers will have to physically return home, or to their company base every 3 or 4 weeks. This, in itself, proves to be a powerful tool to expose the way companies treat their drivers.
Although there is no obligation for the companies to provide drivers with accommodation when making them return to their operational centre, leaving one’s employees in the street for 45 hours and more, will be a scandal!
It is worth mentioning that the return of the driver was part of the European Commission’s initial proposal on the Mobility Package, and supported by the Commission throughout the process. We thus expect the European Commission to ensure its application without delay.