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If you employ employees to drive heavy goods vehicles then there are additional obligations in relation to working time that you must comply with.
An employer is responsible for ensuring their staff driving heavy goods vehicles are not engaged in work with other road transport employers resulting in them exceeding the total permitted driving time. An individual is responsible for keeping their employers fully up to date with whom and for how long they are contracted to work for each employer.
An Operator's Licence will be granted in return for certain undertakings which are then provided to the Traffic Commissioner. These undertakings include ensuring proper arrangements are put in place to monitor all drivers' hours, tachograph rules are observed, proper records are kept, all vehicles operate within the speed limits and that all vehicles will be kept, including hire vehicles, in a fit and serviceable condition.
There are 2 types of Tachographs, digital and manual. Most companies have digital tachograph's installed in their vehicles. The data from the tachograph must be downloaded and provided every 56 days.
It is a legal requirement for a digital tachograph-equipped vehicle that the driver must use a driver's smart card.
Breaks and driving limits
After a driving period of no more than 4.5 hours, a driver must immediately take a break of at least 45 minutes. The maximum daily driving time is 9 hours, however this can be increased to 10 hours but only on 2 days out of 7. The weekly limit is 56 hours, which applies to a fixed week. A fixed week starts at 00.00 on a Monday and ends at 24.00 on the following Sunday.
Pam Loch, Managing Partner of niche employment law practice, Loch Associates Employment Lawyers and Managing Director of HR Advise Me Limited.
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