Release Date: 29 April 2010
Release ID: 4677
IRU urges EP Committee’s decision on Working Time to be reversed in June as it runs the risk to create massive unemployment for currently self employed drivers, using road safety as a fallacious argument.
Brussels – Following the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee’s rejection of the draft Bauer report advocating support for the Commission proposal to exclude self employed drivers from the Working Time Directive at EU level, the IRU urges MEPs to reverse this decision when the proposal comes to vote again in Plenary this June.
The IRU strongly supports the exclusion at EU level of self employed drivers from the scope of the Directive, while supporting the possibility for Member States to apply the Directive’s provision to such drivers if considered necessary after thorough consultation with the industry.
The President of the IRU’s EU Goods Transport Liaison Committee, Alexander Sakkers, stressed: “The rationale of working time legislation is to ensure that salaried workers are not forced to work more than they wish to. Since this is irrelevant for independent owner drivers, the road safety argument has been misused by some to encourage their inclusion at EU level. This is entirely unjustified, considering the extensive EU regulatory framework focusing on road safety. The EP Committee has ignored that EU Driving and Rest Time Rules and the Tachograph Regulation apply to all drivers irrespective of their employment status and are thus the true safeguards of road safety in the sector. This is something I will bring forward in the meeting the IRU will have with Vice President Kallas on the 29 April.”
Moreover, by rejecting the Commission proposal, important measures improving the enforcement of the Directive in general and cracking down on fake self employment in particular, could be lost. The IRU also urges MEPS to support the European Commission’s proposals that bring the definition of night work in line with other working time legislation.
MEPs should rectifiy this situation to avoid the subsequent massive unemployment of self employed drivers and stop using road safety as a fallacious argument for including self employed drivers in the scope of the Working Time Directive.
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