HL Deb 23 October 2000 vol 618 cc7-8WA
Lord Berkeley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the regulations, and the dates on which they come into effect, in the European Union's Working Time Directive in respect of: (a) railway workers; (b) self-employed road freight transport drivers; (c) other road freight transport drivers; (d) public service vehicle drivers; (e) marine operatives; and (f) port operatives. [HL4086]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

Directive 2000/34/EC was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 1 August 2000. It extends the provisions of the existing Working Time Directive in full to non-mobile workers in the previously excluded sectors (air, rail, road, sea, inland waterway and lake transport, sea fishing, other work at sea—mainly the offshore oil and gas industry—and doctors in training).

For mobile workers, the amending directive provides an entitlement to paid annual leave, a 48-hour working week and health checks for night workers. Member states have until 1 August 2003 (1 August 2004 for junior doctors) to implement the directive. Industry representatives within these sectors will be consulted on proposals to implement the directive in due course.

Negotiations for a separate road transport directive, covering breaks and rest periods for mobile workers, are continuing within the transport working group. At this stage we are unable to say when this proposal is likely to be agreed, or when it is likely to be implemented into UK legislation.