SECTORS EXCLUDED FROM THE WORKING TIME
DIRECTIVE MOBILE WORKERS IN ROAD TRANSPORT
Commission Opinion on the European Parliament's amendments to the Council's Common Position on a draft Directive concerning the organisation of working time for mobile workers performing road transport activities and for self-employed drivers.
||Articles 71 and 137 EC; co-decision; qualified majority voting
||25 July 2001|
|Forwarded to the Council:
||25 July 2001|
|Deposited in Parliament:
||28 September 2001
||Transport, Local Government and the Regions
|Basis of consideration:
||EM of 11 October 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||None; but see (21953) 13792/00: HC 28-xi (2000-01), paragraph 11 (4 April 2001)
|To be discussed in Council:
||Following conciliation procedure
||Cleared, but further information requested
16.1 When the previous Committee last considered
it was in receipt of a letter from the then Minister which provided
information on the Council's Common Position, agreed on 23 March.
Although the UK was generally in favour of the text, it abstained
at the Council, since it did not obtain support for its proposed
65-hour maximum working week or an opt-out for individuals.
The document and the Government's view
16.2 The current document is the Commission's
Opinion, following the European Parliament's second reading, adopted
on 14 June. The Commission states that it can support only seven
of the 20 proposed amendments. In his Explanatory Memorandum,
the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of
Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Mr David Jamieson)
"Having endorsed the
Council's common position, the Commission felt it would be inconsistent
to accept any amendments of substance from the European Parliament.
As a result, they support the common position on the issue of
the self-employed, the night work provisions, on the definition
of working time/availability time and on the derogations."
16.3 The Minister continues:
"The Government is very
concerned about the possible impact to the Road Haulage industry
of tighter restrictions on working time. The UK broadly supports
the common position and we welcome the Commission's support for
it on issues of substance. We are particularly pleased that the
Commission are supporting the 10 hour limit for night workers
(as opposed to the more restrictive 8 hour limit proposed by the
"There are, however, some less significant amendments
that the Commission are prepared to support. The most significant
are a tighter definition of the self-employed, a two year period
for keeping records (rather than 1 year) and a two year implementation
period. We do have some concerns about these amendments, but they
are far less important to the haulage and bus industries than
the EP's proposed amendments for night workers, the scope for
derogations and the definition of working time. In preparing for
conciliation, we will need to consider with other Member States
how far we should continue to fight to retain the whole of the
common position and to what extent we should be prepared to make
concessions to the Parliament with a view to securing our key
16.4 The Minister tells us that the first meeting
of the conciliation committee is expected "very shortly".
16.5 We thank the Minister for keeping us
informed about the difficult progress of this measure, and ask
him to let us know the outcome of the conciliation process.
16.6 We clear the document.
45 (21953) 13792/00:see headnote to this paragraph. Back