According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), there is currently a shortage of around 100,000 HGV drivers in the UK. Several factors have contributed to this huge shortage including the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and the changes to working regulations for EU nationals post-Brexit. Last year, it is estimated that 30,000 HGV tests in the UK were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Nationwide HGV employment drive
The shortage of HGV drivers in the UK is beginning to have a serious impact on goods transportation both domestically and internationally. Some supermarkets have already suggested that shelves will become less well-stocked if the problems continue. Emergency talks are currently underway between government officials, retailers, wholesalers, and logistics groups to find an appropriate solution.
The UK government is currently considering a massive employment drive to encourage people to train as HGV drivers. With so many vacancies across the logistics sector, now is the perfect time to consider retraining and following a career in transport.
Relaxing of HGV drivers’ hours
As a temporary solution to the shortage, Secretary for Transport Grant Shapps announced a temporary extension to HGV drivers’ hours. Under current legislation, an HGV driver in the UK or EU must adhere to the following regulations:
- No more than 9 driving hours per day (extended to 10 hours twice a week)
- No more than 56 working hours per week
- No more than 90 working hours in 2 consecutive weeks
All driving hours must also be accurately recorded using a tachograph.
Under the temporarily relaxed laws the following changes will come into use:
- No more than 10 driving hours per day (extended to 11 hours twice a week)
This extension of HGV working hours is planned to start on the 12th July and continue until 11.59pm on the 8th August 2021. Any companies taking advantage of these extended hours must notify the Department of Transport before the period begins and again after the finish date.
Important information for HGV drivers concerning breaks and rest
A career as an HGV driver is challenging and rewarding. It can be well paid with many opportunities to travel both within the UK and further afield. Safety is at the heart of all HGV legislation. When in charge of a large vehicle on a public road you are responsible for the safety of yourself, your cargo, and all other road users.
To ensure that HGV drivers work as safely as possible, there are tight restrictions concerning breaks and rest during a working day. As an HGV driver in the UK and EU you must adhere to the following regulations:
- You must take at least 11 hours rest every day (this can be reduced to 9 hours rest on 3 occasions between any fortnightly rest periods).
- You must take an unbroken rest period of 45 hours every week (this can be reduced to 24 hours every other week).
- After every 4 hours 30 minutes of driving, you must take a break or breaks totaling at least 45 minutes.
- You must take your weekly rest period after 6 consecutive 24-hour periods of working starting from the end of the previous rest period.
These regulations are for HGV drivers working across the UK and EU. For detailed information regarding UK only HGV regulations visit https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/gb-domestic-rules.
At PPR, we have worked extensively in the transportation sector. If you’d like to find out more about our current vacancies and the industries where we specialise, get in touch today. Have a browse of our website for further information then give us a call on 01895 80 81 88 or contact us online.