Driving and rest time rules

Driving time and rest periods - Yleistä

Daily driving time: 9 hours (Article 6)

Daily driving time must not exceed nine hours. However, daily driving time can be extended to up to 10 hours not more than twice during a calendar week.

‘Daily driving time’ refers to the time between the end of one daily rest period and the beginning of the following daily rest period or the time between a daily rest period and a weekly rest period. Driving time includes all time when a vehicle is mobile in traffic.

Breaks, waiting times and time spent loading and unloading a vehicle or on repairs and maintenance are not considered driving time regardless of whether these take place on the road or elsewhere.

Weekly driving time must not exceed 56 hours. The total accumulated driving time during any two consecutive weeks must not exceed 90 hours. A ‘week’ means the period of time between 00.00 on Monday and 24.00 on Sunday.

Break: 45 minutes (Article 7)

After a driving period of four and a half hours, drivers must take an uninterrupted break of not less than 45 minutes, unless they are due to begin their daily or weekly rest period.

The break can be split into two parts and thereby replaced by a break of at least 15 minutes followed by a break of at least 30 minutes. The second part of the break must be taken so that the combined driving time does not exceed four and a half hours before the second part of the break begins.

No other work can be performed during a break. Breaks are intended for resting. If there are multiple drivers in a vehicle, a driver can take their break while the vehicle is moving.

After a break of at least 45 minutes, whether taken in one or two parts, the driving time accumulation resets and no previous driving periods or breaks are taken into account.

The break rules of the Finnish Working Hours Act must also be observed.

Daily rest period: 11 hours (Article 8)

The daily rest period must be uninterrupted and at least 11 hours long per each 24-hour period. The period of availability, meaning the driving time, other working time, waiting time and breaks combined, must not exceed 13 hours.

A daily rest period that is not a reduced daily rest period can be split into no more than two blocks, the first of which must be at least three hours long and the second at least nine hours. A new 24-hour period begins when the daily rest period ends.

Drivers can have no more than three reduced rest periods of at least nine hours between two weekly rest periods. The period of availability must not exceed 15 hours.

Multi-manning (Article 8)

If there are two drivers in a vehicle at the same time, both drivers must have an uninterrupted rest period of at least nine hours in each 30-hour period. The period of availability must not exceed 21 hours.

In a multi-manning situation where there are two drivers in the same vehicle to do the driving, the presence of the second driver is optional for the first hour. A vehicle manned by two drivers can remain in uninterrupted motion for a maximum of 20 hours, as both drivers are permitted to drive a maximum of 10 hours and breaks can be taken while the vehicle is in motion. Daily rest periods, however, cannot be taken in a moving vehicle.

Weekly rest period: 45 hours (Article 8)

The weekly rest period must be uninterrupted and last at least 45 hours. It must begin no later than six 24-hour periods after the end of the previous weekly rest period.

A weekly rest period can be reduced to 24 hours once in any two consecutive weeks. Each reduction of a rest period must be compensated by an uninterrupted rest period of corresponding length in connection with another rest period of at least nine hours before the end of the third week following the week in question.

In any two consecutive weeks, drivers must have

  • either two regular weekly rest periods (of at least 45 hours each) or
  • one regular weekly rest period and one reduced weekly rest period (of at least 24 hours).

Interrupting a daily rest period (Article 9)

Where a driver accompanies a vehicle which is transported by ferry or train and takes a regular daily rest period (of at least 11 hours), that period can be interrupted not more than twice by other activities not exceeding one hour in total. The driver must have access to a bunk or couchette during their regular rest period.

This means that an 11-hour daily rest period or a split daily rest period (3 + 9 hours) can be interrupted by boarding or disembarking from a ferry or train. The interruptions must not last longer than one hour altogether. In the case of split daily rest periods, the number of interruptions (no more than two) applies to the entire daily rest period and not separately to each portion of the split regular daily rest period. Under no circumstances can the time taken up by interruptions shorten a driver’s rest period; the daily rest period must be contained within a 24-hour period from the beginning of the shift, interruptions notwithstanding.

Work during minimum rest periods (Articles 4 and 6)

During the minimum daily rest period and minimum weekly rest period specified in the Regulation, no work at all can be performed in a private or public employment relationship, whether in or outside of the transport sector.

Self-employment and other work performed in a private capacity are nevertheless permitted during a minimum daily or weekly rest period. If such self-employment or other work is performed within the transport sector, the laws governing self-employed drivers must be taken into account both in respect of driving time and other work.

A driver who is in the employ or at the disposal of more than one transport company and/or other employer must provide each of the transport companies with sufficient evidence of all other work that they perform in the service or employ of others. Responsibility for supplying the evidence rests with the driver.