HL Deb 06 May 1999 vol 600 cc100-1WA
Lord Berkeley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they support the European Commission's draft announcement to the Working Time Directive which, while including within its scope all other transport workers. specifically excludes HGV owner drivers; and [HL2082]

Whether the exclusion of HGV owner drivers from the draft amendment to the EC Working Time Directive is acceptable in terms of (a) road safety; and (b) fair competition with larger HGV firms and rail freight. [HL2083]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

The European Commission published proposals on 18 November 1998 to extend the provisions of the Working Time Directive to cover workers who were excluded. This included a draft directive for road transport which applied to both employed and self employed drivers. The Government believe that the Commission's proposals should provide minimum standards of protection against workers being forced to work long hours. The Government do not believe that the proposals need apply to the self employed, as they can determine their own hours of work.

The existing drivers' hours regulations protect road safety.