14.4.2020 Relaxation of Driver Hours

14th April 2020

To:          Corrugated Sector

From:     Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI)

Dear Colleagues

Relaxation of Driver Hours': feedback on continuation after 21 April URGENT request from Defra

You'll see below an urgent request from Defra for evidence on the need for a continued derogation on drivers' hours after 21 April.  If this is important, please return the completed Evidence Template at once. 

Also attached is a briefing from our colleagues at CEPI covering H&S transport recommendations and an overview of the situation across the EU. 

From: Look, David
Sent: 10 April 2020 17:25
Subject: URGENT REQUEST FOR VIEWS – RELAXATION OF DRIVERS’ HOURS RULES (Responses required by 12pm Tuesday 14 April)

Dear FCELG members and selected others, 

Due to the unprecedented pressures on local and national supply chains, the Department for Transport authorised a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of both the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules for the whole haulage industry, which began on 23 March and is due to end on 21 April 2020. 

A specific review of the continuation of the relaxations past Sunday 5 April 2020 was conducted and a decision was made to continue with the relaxations until 21 April 2020. In addition, due to stakeholder feedback, a further relaxation was included, allowing drivers to use the ferry/train derogation whilst taking a reduced daily rest of 9 hours.  This was communicated with an update of the notification on the gov.uk website; see link below:


We are now seeking views and evidence from key stakeholders to help us make the decision on the way forward after the 21 April 2020.  We believe the three options are:

  1. Finish the current relaxation on 21 April and commit to reviewing the case in the future.
  2. Extend the current relaxation until 21 May if sufficient evidence is provided by key stakeholders to support this.
  3. Extend the current relaxation until 21 May for specific sectors if sufficient evidence is provided by key stakeholders to support this.

Timescales are critical; as extending the relaxation of the EU drivers’ hours rules beyond 21 April needs authorisation from the European Commission.  Therefore, we would be grateful if you could provide us with your view on the attached template by noon Tuesday 14 April at the latest. The form reflects our evidential requirements for considering requests for relaxation as stated in our published guidance.

It is important that the use of existing labour force pools is considered before drivers are asked to work longer hours. Please therefore indicate with specific detail what action your organisation is undertaking.

Drivers hours rules are important for public safety.  They will not be relaxed unless there is clear evidence of public interest reasons to do so.

Kind regards,

David Look | Food Resilience and Supply Chains |

| Agri-Food Chain Directorate| Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs |