Industry News



Tuesday 13th July 2021

UPDATE: 28th October 2021
Relaxations to Drivers' Hours extended until 9th January 2022

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The temporary relaxation of drivers' hours that applied until 11:59pm on 31 October 2021 has been extended.

If you made use of that relaxation, you must submit a completed follow-up notification of relaxation form (31 October 2021) by 7 November 2021.

The new extended relaxation runs from 12.01am on 1 November 2021 until 11.59pm on 9 January 2022.

As with previous relaxations, Aquarius IT advise that they are not to be used as a matter of course, only if necessary.

It must be used only where necessary, otherwise, the normal drivers' hours rules should be followed. The DfT encourages operators facing high work demands or work absences to take urgent measures to secure drivers who have limited or no current work.

Marc Caplin, Aquarius IT's Compliance Advisor, says: "It is clear from the Government's advice above, that the relaxed rules are only intended to be used as derogations. This is much like a standard "Article 12" emergency situation, whereby the driver would need to make a roadside record explaining why they have made use of it. With this being the case, ClockWatcher Elite will analyse the data against "standard" Drivers' Hours (561/2006) to which the operator can then add some explanatory notes."

In addition, when driving under the EU drivers' hours rules, drivers must note on the back of their tachograph charts or printouts the reasons why they are exceeding the normally permitted limits. This is usual practice in emergencies and is essential for enforcement purposes.

"The standard practice when analysing data under these relaxations is to make notes against any resulting infringements explaining why they are there, which falls in line with the approach taken by enforcement," explains Marc.

"Operators wanting to make use of these relaxation must also fill out "an initial notification of relaxation form" and email a copy to," adds Marc. "Once the period of relaxation has ended, they must then send a follow-up form to the same address."

"Failure to submit these forms will mean that Drivers' Hours will be enforced in the usual way. Use of these relaxations must also be agreed in advance with the driver workforce or other representative bodies," confirms Marc.