EU Commission clarify rules related to the Mobility Package

You will find here some rules related to the Mobility Package that the European Commission has published recently...

After the announcement of the Mobility package Directive 1, transport companies started to wonder about several published aspects that were not clearly explained and raised a lot of questions.

The European Commission has published on the DG Mobility website a first series of Questions/Answers on the implementation of Mobility Package; in particular concerning the driving and rest time regulation already in force in the EU. Below you can find a short summary of the information provided by EU.

Please choose the topic which is most important for you: 

1.Return of a driver: 

While the driver may choose his/ her place of rest, the driver has no possibility to release the employer from its obligations to organize the work enabling the regular return to ” home“. 

Where, the driver does not express a choice between these two possibilities, evidence in this case would include an invitation from the employer(e-mail)

To sum up, regarding the EC’s explanations, the driver may choose a place of rest, but there is no possibility to exempt the employer from the obligation to organize work in order to return to “home “to either his or her place of residence or to the employer’s operational center.  

How to prove the return to the operational center of the transport or place of residence?

The Commission also answers the question of how the carrier can prove that it has organized the work in such a way that the driver has the opportunity to return to the so-called base. Transport companies can use it for this purpose:

– Tachograph records,

– drivers’ duty rosters

– or other documentation (such as tickets or other proof of travel arrangements, (as a ticket or any other proof of other travel arrangements – proof that the driver travelled back home by a minibus provided by an employer) .

The carrier must keep such documents at its premises and present them to the control authorities upon request. 

As indicated by the EC, the driver should not be required to have such documents, nor should he be required to have documents concerning the place of regular weekly rest. 

Who should pay for the traveling cost of a driver to return to the place of residence or operational center of company? 

If a driver finish working period before returning to the base in the one of the two places of driver’s choice, then there it is the employer’s obligation to organize the return of their driver’s and cover the traveling cost. 

If, on the other hand, the driver does not take advantage of the return organized by the employer and decides to spend the rest period in another place, he will have to cover all the travel costs to and from that place himself

What about self-employed drivers? 

The EC explains that rules not applies to self – employed drivers only.  However, person who is only declared to be self-employed but whose situation satisfies the conditions characterizing an employment relationship with another person (whether natural or legal) must be considered as an employed person and thus is covered by this provision. 

2. Ban to take a regular weekly rest in the cabin of the vehicle

The European Commission has also referred to the ban on resting time in the cabin. Drivers or employers can only be fined for non-compliance with these rules, when their drivers are caught having a regular weekly rest inside the truck, at the time of the control. 

However, the authorities cannot require drivers’ documents proving that their regular weekly rest time preceding the roadside inspection was not spent in the truck.  

What are the exceptional circumstances when the driver may exceed the daily and weekly driving time? 

These new derogations may be used when, due to circumstances independent from the driver’s or operator’s will (weather conditions, congestion, delays at loading/unloading points, etc.), a driver is not able to reach one of the places chosen by him (place of residence or the employer’s operational center) for a weekly rest without breaching rules on daily or weekly rests.

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