Relaxation of EU Drivers’ Hours Rules

The retained EU drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows.
The replacement of either:
• the permitted increase to the daily driving limit from 9 hours to 10 hours with one of 11 hours (allowed up to twice in 1 week)
OR
• the requirement to take a regular weekly rest period of 45 hours in a 2-week period with an alternative pattern of weekly rest periods as specified below, and an increase to the fortnightly driving limit from 90 hours to 99 hours. This enables 2 consecutive reduced weekly rest periods to be taken.

The alternative pattern of weekly rest periods for drivers using the relaxation related to weekly rest periods is as follows:
• the regular weekly rest period in a 2-week period can be replaced by 2 reduced weekly rest periods of at least 24 hours
• following this, 2 regular weekly rest periods must be taken. However, any reduction in weekly rest shall be compensated for in the normal way by an equivalent period of rest taken before the end of the third week following the week in question
• in addition, any rest taken as compensation for a reduced weekly rest period shall be attached to a regular weekly rest period of at least 45 hours (which can be split over 2 regular weekly rest periods).

This relaxation must not be used in combination with existing rules for international driving, which allow for 2 consecutive reduced weekly rest breaks in certain circumstances.
It is not recommended this relaxation be used for drivers engaged partly in international journeys.

Timing of the Relaxation
This temporary relaxation will apply from 12:01am on 12 July 2021 and will run until 11:59pm on 8 August 2021.
Consecutive weekly rest periods taken before 12 July 2021 must be taken into account for this relaxation, and up to 3 consecutive rest periods may include 1 taken before 8 July 2021.
The 2 subsequent consecutive full regular rest periods, including compensatory rest, can be taken in whole or in part after the end of this relaxation.
DfT reserves the right to withdraw the relaxation earlier, or extend the relaxation, if circumstances change.

Using the Relaxation
Driver safety must not be compromised. Drivers should not be expected to drive while tired – employers remain responsible for the health and safety of their employees and other road users.
The practical implementation of the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and driver representatives.
Operators must notify the DfT if this relaxation is used by completing:
1. An initial notification of relaxation form and emailing a copy to RSSSFOLRCOVID19@dft.gov.uk.
2. A follow-up notification of relaxation form, which must be emailed to RSSSFOLRCOVID19@dft.gov.uk one week after the end of the period of relaxation.