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WTD Rules Summary

Brief Overview

A new set of working time regulations came into force on the 4th April 2005. The regulations are called the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations and they will affect mobile workers who are travelling in vehicles subject to the Community Drivers' Hours regulations(commonly known as the EU regulations) (3820/85/EEC). That means any vehicle which requires the use of a tachograph. Mobile workers are required to comply with these regulations as well as the existing Community Drivers' Hours regulations.

The new regulations introduce limits on weekly working time (excluding breaks and periods of availability) and a limit on the amount of duty that can be done at night. They also specify how much continuous work can be done before taking a break. Under the new regulations, working time for mobile workers must not exceed:-

An average 48 hour week

60 hours in a single week

10 hours in any 24 period if working at night

Who Is Affected?

Generally, drivers, vehicle crew and travelling staff of goods vehicles where the maximum permissable weight exceeds 3.5 tonnes. Typically this means:-

Drivers of vehicles with a tachograph in them (unless exempt)

Members of the vehicle crew

The regulations do not apply to occasional mobile workers. You are classified as an occasional worker if you worker fewer than 11 days in a reference period that is shorter than 26 weeks. As now, limits under the EU rules will apply to occasional mobile workers.

What Counts as Working Time?


Working time is not attendance or shift time. It does not include travelling between home and work (unless you are travelling to a place other than you own depot), breaks, periods of availability, evening classes or day release courses.

Working time includes job-related training associated with normal work and training that is part of the Company's commercial transport operation.

Working time for another employer counts towards the total working hours performed by the mobile worker.

Voluntary work and activities performed by mobile workers who are part-time retained fire-fighters, special constables and members of the reserve forces should not be counted towards these limits.


The new regulations define working time as the time from the beginning of work, during which the mobile worker is at the disposal of the employer and exercising his functions or activities - that is to say;

The time devoted to all road transport activities including:-

Cleaning and Maintenance of vehicle
Work intended to ensure the safety of the vehicle or its cargo (e.g. supervising loading/unloading or daily defect check)
Fuelling up

Time devoted to other activities:-

Time which the mobile worker cannot freely dispose of his/her time and is required to be at the workstation (typically this means the driver's cab) ready to take up normal work, with certain tasks associated with being on duty (e.g. working in warehouse, or in the yard, or any other activities for the yard or any other activities for the employer.)

Waiting time where the foreseeable duration is not known in advance, by the mobile worker, either before departure or just before the start of the period in question.

Working Time does not include:-

Routine travel between home and normal place of work
Rest and breaks when no work is done
Periods of availability
Evening classes or day-release courses
Voluntary work or time spent as a retained fire-fighter, special constable or member of the reserve forces.

What is a Period of Availability (POA)?

Generally speaking a POA is waiting time whose duration is known about in advance by the mobile worker. Under the regulations, these periods have to meet the following criteria:-

A mobile worker should not be required to stay at his workstation

(but) He must be available to answer calls to start work or resume driving on request, and

the period and the foreseeable duration should be known ablout in advance, by the mobile worker, either before departure, or just before the start of the period in question.

Examples of POA could include delays at loading/unloading points, accompanying vehicles on ferries, or sitting next to the driver while the vehicle is in motion (second man). If the vehicle breaks down and the mobile worker is told how long it will take to be rescued.

Like breaks and rest periods, a POA can be taken at the workstation. Providing the mobile worker has a reasonable amount of freedom(i.e. he can relax and read etc), for a known duration, this would satisfy the requirements for a POA. Where the mobile worker knows about the delay in advance, but it is deemed prudent that the driver should remain in the cab for reasons of security or safety, this should not in itself, disqualify this delay from being recorded as a POA. Typical examples might include waiting at a site that is unsuitable for pedestrians.

Mobile workers do not need to be formally notified about a POA and it's duration in advance, it is enough that they know about it (and the foreseeable duration), in advance.

POA does not apply to delays where the mobile worker has to continue working. For example, where the driver is diverted due to a road closure, he would still be driving. Delays due to congestion would also count as working time because the driver would be starting and stopping the vehicle. If the driver is monitoring loading/unloading, this is also working time.

There is no minimum or maximum period in order to count as POA.

POA is recorded using the Square on the tachograph

What is a Week?

The working week must start at 00:00 hours on Monday and finish at 24:00 hours Sunday.

Weekly Working Time Limits

Workers must not exceed an average of 48 hours working time a week over the reference period, neither may they exceed 60 hours working time in a single week. (a week always starts at 00:00 hours on Monday morning)

Workers covered by these regulations cannot opt-out from the average 48 hour weekly limit.

Time Off

The statutory annual leave entitlement, sick leave, maternity or paternity leave cannot be used to bring down the average weekly working time.

Therefore 48 hours for every full week and 8 hours for each single day must be recorded for the time off mentioned above.

Any additional time off can be taken without having to put time back in, this would include bank holidays, providing they do not form part of your statutory holiday leave entitlement.

Working at Night

Night time is between midnight and 4am for goods vehicles
If night work is performed, the daily working time should not exceed 10 hours in any 24 hour period
If a mobile worker does any work during the night time period he will be subject ti the night time limit
The night time work limit can only be exceeded with a relevant agreement.
Work means driving and other duties, excluding breaks and PoA's

Rest and Break

Current EU Driver's hours apply


Current EU Driver's hours apply

Current EU Driver's hours apply but also:-

Mobile workers must not work more than 6 consecutive hours without taking a break

If working hours total between 6 and 9 hours a day, breaks totalling at least 30 minutes must be taken

Breaks should be of at least 15 minutes duration

When taking a break the driver must not perform any other work during this period. Breaks can be taken in the cab.

The requirement for breaks is triggered by the amount of work done, not by the length of shift or attendance time.

Contact Us either by contact us button at top of page or details below:

W. Hamilton TMS Cumbria Ltd
Unit 3 Station Court
Northumberland .
NE49 9HN
United Kingdom

Phone: 01434 322879 and ask for Billy or Linda


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