Under current legislation, drivers are able to reduce their 45-hour weekly rest to 36 hours if they have returned to their home depot, or 24 hours if away from home, on consecutive weeks.
However, earlier this week the European Parliament, Council of Ministers and Commission ruled that from spring 2007 drivers would be required to take a full 45 hours weekly rest in any two weeks.
The FTA argued that removing the flexibility from the current regulations meant that drivers would be unable to work a six-day week and could seriously damage productivity. Joan Williams, regional policy manager at the FTA, said: “At the moment drivers can work five-and-a-half to six days a week. The food sector works on a six-day delivery pattern, so it will be seriously affected by the changes.”