Driving To Deliver Your Business

Brussels committee amends EU road haulage proposals

Stuart Todd | 2018-06-07 13:39:53.0 Under European Parliament amendments, ‘equal pay for equal work’ rules would apply to ‘cabotage’ deliveries Updated EU rules to fight illegal practices in road haulage and to help improve drivers’ employment conditions were among the amendments to European Commission ‘mobility package’ proposals for the road haulage sector approved by the European Parliament (EP)’s transport committee earlier this week.

The proposals have already come under strong criticism from a road freight alliance of 10 European states launched last year to defend fair competition and workers’ rights. It claimed last month that they risked maintaining legal uncertainty and differences in the interpretation of the regulations as well as making checks more difficult and leading to a deterioration of working conditions of lorry drivers and road safety. According to the EP committee’s amendments, EU rules on ‘posted workers’, based on the principle of “equal pay for equal work”, would apply to so-called ‘cabotage’ deliveries.

This is a very contentious issue as most of the cabotage road haulage in the EU is carried out in the higher-wage western European states by eastern European operators employing low-paid drivers. The committee also proposed changes to ensure better rest conditions for drivers. This would oblige companies to organise their timetables so that, once every three weeks, drivers were able to return home or to another location of their choosing for a weekly rest.

The MEP draft legislation is also intended to cut red tape and stipulates that investigations and checks should focus on companies with a poorer risk-rating, thus reducing the administrative burden for law-abiding operators. The amendments, when approved by the full house of the Parliament, will be the EP’s position ahead of negotiations with the European Council or Council of Ministers (of Member States). Its position on the Commission’s proposals is expected this month.

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