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Social provisions

Road transport is essential to the economy in terms of its contribution to GDP. The sector also employs almost 5 million people in the EU. Making transport safer and more secure is vital to improve working conditions in the sector. Better working conditions will in turn contribute to a safer transport environment.

The opening of transport markets in Europe significantly increased the competitive pressure on operators and their mobile workers. In this context, social standards with an influence on the cost structure needed to be harmonised to guarantee good working conditions, and to protect the health and safety of workers.

Good working conditions can also contribute to attracting young people to the profession, in an age when the sector is suffering from a shortage of qualified staff.

The EU has therefore established a framework of social rules for goods and passenger road transport operators with three complementary goals:

  • to ensure the adequate social protection  of road transport workers;
  • to guarantee fair competition  between undertakings;
  • to improve road safety by averting road fatigue.

This section provides an overview of the different rules developed at the EU level, including those which govern: driving time and rest periods working time enforcement , and the recording device tachograph .

Legislation

Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EEC) No 3821/85 and (EC) No 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85

Consolidated version of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EEC) No 3821/85 and (EC) No 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 (Text with EEA relevance) (all languages)

Directive 2006/22/EC on minimum conditions for the implementation of Council Regulations (EEC) No 3820/85 and (EEC) No 3821/85 concerning social legislation relating to road transport activities and repealing Council Directive 88/599/EEC

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 of 20 December 1985 on recording equipment in road transport - Tachograph

Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on tachographs in road transport, repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport

Directive 2002/15/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2002 on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities