Working time regulation

This chapter covers working time limits and statutory holiday entitlements for mobile and non-mobile workers. It also addresses periods of availability, recording working time and enforcement and penalties.


  • Self-employed.
  • Agency workers.
  • Mobile and non-mobile workers.
  • Occasional mobile workers.
  • Working time decision flowchart.
  • Mobile workers on EU drivers’ hours operations.
  • Agreements under RTD.
  • RTD calculating average working time.
  • RTD periods of availability.
  • Recording RTD.
  • Mobile workers on domestic drivers’ hours operations.
  • Non-mobile workers.
  • Enforcement and penalties.

Download the Working time regulation chapter of the Yearbook of Road Transport Law

Working time legislation in road transport originates from the following EU directives.

Main Directive

This was introduced in the UK in 1998 and gave new rights to employees and placed additional burdens on employers. However, the transport sector was temporarily excluded from its provisions.

Horizontal Directive

This was introduced in 2003 and amended the Main Directive by removing the exemption for the transport sector. 

It applied the Main Directive rules to non-mobile workers, and some of the rules to mobile workers. How far the Main Directive rules apply to mobile workers depends on whether the vehicle operation is covered by EU or domestic drivers' hours rules.

Road Transport Directive

This was introduced in 2005. It added specific rules to mobile workers of operations subject to EU drivers' hours (tachograph) regulations.

The Road Transport (Working Time) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Extended the scope of the 2005 Regulations to apply to self-employed drivers.

Need more information?

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