Motor vehicle driver and the Working Hours Act

Working hours of a driver - Motor vehicle driver and the Working Hours Act

The work of professional motor vehicle drivers is regulated by the Working Hours Act. Professional drivers are therefore advised to also familiarise themselves with the other information on working hours available on the website Tyosuojelu.fi. The Working Hours Act contains special provisions on motor vehicle drivers, some of which are superseded by the EU driving and rest time rules (Regulation (EC) No 561/2006). Drivers’ rest times are mostly regulated by the EU rules. Many aspects of motor vehicle drivers’ work can also be regulated by national collective agreements.

The daily working hours of motor vehicle drivers must not exceed 11 hours during the 24 hours following their daily rest period. If there is no other practical solution, a driver’s daily working hours can be extended to up to 13 hours. However, in these cases, the employer must ensure that the driver’s working hours within the first 48 hours after the daily rest period that follows the longer working day do not exceed 22 hours. (Working Hours Act, section 9)

Diagram: driver's working and resting times in 24-hour and 48-hour periods.

Drivers who are governed by the EU driving and rest time rules and who regularly work at least four hours between the hours of midnight and 7.00 am cannot work more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period. (Working Hours Act, section 8, subsection 3)

The working hours of professional motor vehicle drivers must not exceed 60 hours per calendar week.

Any work that falls under Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 is subject to the EU driving and rest time rules. In all other cases, professional drivers must get one or two breaks amounting to at least 30 minutes in total for each five hours and 30 minutes that they work. Drivers are also entitled to a continuous rest period of at least 10 hours in each 24-hour period. However, if there is no other practical solution, a driver’s daily rest time can be reduced to no less than seven hours during up to two of seven consecutive 24-hour periods.

Diagram: driver's rest periods.

It is the employer’s responsibility to keep track of their drivers’ working hours. Tachograph data alone are not a sufficient record of working hours, as the record must show all working hours and not just those spent driving.

It is the employer’s duty to provide drivers with a personal driver’s log in which to record their daily working hours. Personal driver’s logs must show the start and end times of working hours, rest periods and breaks. The log must be updated after each period of work or rest. Instead of a personal driver’s log, drivers can use a tachograph. The current week’s log must be kept in the vehicle at all times, along with the log for the last working day of the previous week. Employers must keep drivers’ logs for a period of one year.

Motor vehicle drivers who deliberately or out of carelessness fail to record their hours in their personal driver’s log or fail to keep the log in their vehicle can be fined for a violation of working hours regulations under the penal provisions of the Working Hours Act.