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.


Updates for 2024:

  • Period of availability (POA) scenarios added.


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


  • 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.
  • Scenarios regarding POA.
  • Break during POA.
  • Recording RTD.
  • Mobile workers on domestic drivers’ hours operations.
  • Non-mobile workers.
  • Enforcement and penalties.


Significant changes made in the last 10 years...

Logistics UK members have agreed that the Association should press for a period of stability in these policy areas and resist any major alterations. However, as part of the Government's recent Red Tape Challenge Logistics UK appealed for the Road Transport Directive to be disapplied because members questioned whether there was any road safety benefit, given that EU drivers' hours rules already apply. Logistics UK will take advantage of future opportunities to make this case.

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 2004 and amended the Main Directive by including 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 tachograph 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.

Need more information?

If you are an FTA member and have a query regarding this topic, or need more information, contact our Member Advice Centre