EU vote ‘threat’ to hauliers
THE livelihoods of local selfemployed hauliers are in the firing line as MEPs vote today (June 16) in the European Parliament on the working time directive.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is concerned that the politicians are about to set a dangerous precedent by regulating the working time of self-employed heavy goods vehicle drivers, which could threaten entrepreneurship across Europe. MEPs are set to vote on restricting the working hours of independent hauliers across Europe to 48 hours per week.
Chris Spies, Peterborough branch chairman at the FSB, said: “Advocates of the inclusion cite road safety as the main reason.
“However, there are already two strong measures to guarantee road safety: the tachograph and the vital need for the self-employed to keep their operating licence.
“Rest and driving times are monitored through the vehicle’s tachograph and within those boundaries, the freedom to manage your own time as a self-employed person is sac- rosanct and must not be subjected interference.”
A faction of MEPs believe that regulation will improve safety and while the FSB does not question the importance of improving road safety, it believes that through ignoring existing solutions like the tachograph and hauliers compliance with the strict rules of their operating licences, that the changes will threaten entrepreneurship throughout the European Union.
John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, says that further bureaucracy is “the last thing” that’s needed.
He said: “It is non-sensical to ex- pect the one-man operator to try to keep further records while running his business.”
The FSB is also concerned that this could set a dangerous precedent for the working hours of self-employed people across all business sectors and will directly contradict efforts made at EU level to promote entrepreneurship, economic growth and job creation.
working time directive: Chris Spies says there are already two strong measures to guarantee
hauliers’ road safety.