I know from experience that I’m not the only Transport Manager who has had conversations with Drivers and Managers about how many consecutive shifts a driver working under EU Drivers Hours can work in one week.

In a recent discussion, a Transport Supervisor I know well, had instructed a driver that having worked 6 consecutive shifts in one week he would only be able to work 5 days in the current week.

The Supervisor was, however, having difficulty finding specific instructions within the legislation and the Govt Website on EU drivers hours to support his assertions and the Driver was disputing it on the basis of his interpretation of the regulations.

I explained to the Supervisor that what the EU Regulations 561/2006 do say is; –

  • A weekly rest period shall start no later than at the end of six 24-hour periods from the end of the previous weekly rest period
  • In any two consecutive weeks a driver shall take at least:
    — two regular weekly rest periods, or
    — one regular weekly rest period and one reduced weekly rest period of at least 24 hours
  • that the weekly rest period must be achieved by 24:00 on Sunday given that the week started at 00:00 the previous Monday

It is these requirements that dictate that where a regular weekly rest is required the 45 hours must be completed by 24:00 on Sunday of the second week.

However creative you then decide to be with shift patterns, the latest the could be at work and still achieve a 45 hour weekly rest in any one week would be 3:00 AM on the Saturday and, in the intervening period, all other requirements for Drivers Hours, Working Time, breaks and Daily Rest must be met.

Where the Driver in this case had erred is where many do, he had included the hours between midnight on Sunday and his start time on the Monday morning in his calculations, and had sought to adjust his start time on Monday in line with his finish time on the Saturday to achieve 45 hours in the second week.

We’re happy to provide consulting advice or driver training on a variety of subjects including EU Drivers Hours and consecutive shifts – if you feel you or your drivers could benefit from our services please Contact Us or call our office during working hours on 01245 847635