Drivers Hours – When should you keep records?

By June 7, 2018blog

 

We have decided to look more closely at a point that concerned us as former Enforcement Officers and the same point concerns and often confuses many Operators even now. This Article looks specifically on what Days are required to be recorded to comply with Regulation EC561/2006 and Regulation EU165/2014.

We have looked at it from a kind of timeline view to show how attitudes have changed and to where we are now………

 

In February 2014, the DVSA Blog “Moving On” produced the following statement in respect of when an IN SCOPE – Commercial Vehicle Driver should keep records:

Record keeping on days when you do not drive
Non-working days, such as weekends and days off, do not need to be recorded. Drivers must record all other work on all driving and non-driving days within a week where they have undertaken EC- regulated driving since their last weekly rest.

For example, a driver who works in the office Monday and Tuesday then drives an in-scope vehicle on Wednesday of the same week must complete records for Monday and Tuesday manually.   

https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/02/24/drivers-hours-when-you-should-keep-records/

So lets break it down a little:

  1. For a start, the phrase “week” is not clarified but, as only the Fixed Week is defined under EC Regulation (in effect Monday to Sunday), then we must suppose it is that.
  2. Clearly “Days Off” are excluded from recording requirements – clear enough.
  3. All Driving and all Other Work must be recorded since their last Weekly Rest. That seems clear.
  4. In the example, Monday and Tuesday would need to be recorded manually (Other Work) as the “In Scope” driving on Wednesday act as a trigger for that week. Again seems clear enough.
  5. So one minute of Driving under EC Regulation would seem to bring the whole Fixed week into the requirement of being recorded. Seems straightforward although the Blog example also does not say what happens to the rest of the days in the Fixed Week, after the driving on the Wednesday.
  6. The last weekly rest period is not given in the example although it is presumed to be Saturday and Sunday.
  7. The Fixed Week and the phrase since their last Weekly Rest seem to be potentially conflicting or overlapping.

 

 

Whilst on the face of it this is clear guidance but is it really? Here come the “buts”….

Article 6(5) of EC 561/2006 says the following;

  1. A driver shall record as other work any time spent as described in Article 4(e) as well as any time spent driving a vehicle used for commercial operations not falling within the scope of this Regulation, and shall record any periods of availability, as defined in Article 15(3)(c) of Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85, since his last daily or weekly rest period. This record shall be entered either manually on a record sheet, a printout or by use of manual input facilities on recording equipment.

 

The crucial thing to look at here is that the actual Regulation says “since his last daily or weekly rest period”. The DVSA Blog makes no mention of Daily Rest periods, just “since their last Weekly Rest”.

Does this have a potential impact? In our opinion it certainly does as the implication given in the Blog Post is that only a Drivers Weekly Rest period is a “reset point” for the requirement to keep records for days when In Scope driving has not taken place. So, if a Weekly Rest period can be a “reset point”, why can’t a Daily rest period be the same? This is what is seems to be implied in Article 6(5) which is what the Blog is based on.

So, lets apply the “Daily Rest reset point” theory to the example above. If the driver has a valid Daily Rest between the Office Work on the Tuesday and the commencement of duty on what would be an In Scope day on Wednesday, then Monday and Tuesday would not need to be recorded. The argument is based on the point that the Daily Rest Period between Tuesday and Wednesday is the “reset point”, just as the Weekly Rest period was in the Blog Post example.

However, the implication from the Blog is that all activity, in and out of scope, would continue to be required to be recorded until the end of the Fixed Week (Sunday night) or until another Weekly Rest takes place which would act as a further “reset point” for recording purposes.

 

So that was the position in February 2014. What about now?

The latest DVSA Guide to Drivers Hours is now an Internet based Document and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/drivers-hours-goods-vehicles or

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/drivers-hours-passenger-vehicles

Section 4 relates to “Tachograph Rules” and further down the page is 4.3 – Common Rules. Navigating down the page there is the section entitled “Recording Other Work”, it says …….

Recording other work

During a week in which in-scope driving has taken place, any previous work ( including out-of scope driving) since the last daily or weekly rest period ( taken in accordance with either the EU drivers’ hours or working time rules), would have to be recorded as ‘other work’ on a tachograph chart, printout or manual entry using the manual input facility of a digital tachograph chart, or a legally required GB domestic record on a log book.

‘Other work’ means all activities which are defined as working time in Article 3(a) of Directive 2002/15/EC except ‘driving’, including any work for the same or another employer, within or outside of the transport sector.

 

 

When this is compared to the February 2014 Blog post, it can be seen that it mirrors Article 6(5) far more closely than the Blog had done, especially as it included the phrase:”since the last Daily Rest” as well as the phrase Weekly Rest. This would appear crucial as this strengthens the case to suggest that a Daily rest period can now be considered a “reset point” for recording purposes as well as a Weekly Rest period.

With this in mind, we contacted the (genuinely always helpful) DVSA Policy Unit who confirmed that the current stance of the DVSA was:

“that only days when IN SCOPE driving has taken place now require to be recorded”.

 

In other words, a legal Daily Rest period and a Legal Weekly Rest Period are both “reset points” for the purpose of having to record activity. So, a Driver who drives IN SCOPE of Regulation EC561/2006 and Regulation EU165/2014 only has to record that day’s events providing that either a Legal Daily or Weekly Rest period is taken before and after the day that included IN SCOPE driving.

 

For Example:-

Friday       In Scope day – Full records required      

 

Saturday    

 

Rest Day – Rest days not required to be recorded.
Sunday     

 

Rest Day – Rest days not required to be recorded. Recording Reset point activated by Weekly Rest Period.
Monday        Office 0900-1700 – not required to be recorded as NO In Scope activity has taken place a Weekly Rest has been taken on Saturday and Sunday.

 

Tuesday       

 

EC IN SCOPE Day 0400-1600 (1700 Monday to 0400 Tuesday is regular Daily Rest) and so this Day requires to be recorded in full.

 

Wednesday 0900-1700 – Office – Recording Reset point activated by Daily Rest period that hasbeen taken between 1600 (Tuesday) and 0900 (Wednesday) and thus Wednesday does not need to be recorded as NO In scope driving took place on that day.

 

 

We hope that this has clarified the picture as there appears to be an awful lot of confusion in respect of this particular requirement and given the way that Article 6(5) is written, that’s not really surprising.

The current stance from the DVSA seems a very sensible one and it’s a stance that a vast number of Drivers and Operators will be able to understand and comply with.

 

Neil Lever

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