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Lowe’s Transport Manager’s and Operator’s Handbook 2015: Employers’ Responsibilities

23rd February 2015 | David Lowe, Clive Pidgeon

As a transport manager and employer of drivers, it's important to keep informed of the latest legislation and the legal obligations that your business is subject to. This article briefly outlines responsibilities for employers in the transport industry.

The employer needs to determine whether their transport operation and vehicles fall within scope of the EU tachograph requirements, and take appropriate steps regarding the fitment and calibration of instruments. The employer needs to instruct their drivers accordingly. Additionally, the regulations place specific responsibilities on the employer of a driver who drives within the EU rules as follows:

  • The employer must organize the driver’s work in such a way that he is able to comply with both the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules.
  • The employer must supply drivers with sufficient numbers of the correct type of tachograph charts (i.e. one chart for the day, one spare in case the first is impounded by an enforcement officer, plus any further spares which are necessary to account for any charts which become too dirty ord to use), and he must ensure that completed charts are collected from drivers no later than 42 days after use.
  • The employer must periodically check completed charts to ensure that the law has been complied with (i.e. that the driver has made a chart for the day, that he has completed it fully and properly, and that he has observed the driving hours rules). If breaches of the law are found, the employer must take appropriate steps to prevent their repetition.
  • The employer must retain completed charts for 12 months for inspection by DVSA examiners, if required.
  • The employer must give copies of the record to drivers concerned who request them.

A number of court cases have highlighted the extent of employer responsibilities for tachograph operation as follows:

  • It has been made clear that employers who do not check tachograph records are permitting drivers’ hours offences and can be prosecuted and convicted accordingly.
  • Employers can be charged with failing to use the tachograph in accordance with the regulations in cases where a driver is unable to produce charts to show his driving and other work activities (e.g. when requested to do so in a roadside check).
  • Where employers allow drivers to take their tractive units home after their day’s work they must ensure that such driving is recorded on a tachograph chart and is counted as part of the driver’s legally permitted driving and working time for that day- it is not part of his rest period.


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