Original publication: October 2017
Authors: TRT Trasporti e Territorio Srl – Enrico PASTORI, Marco BRAMBILLA
Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/2jdg3ub

(Update of the 2013 study)

Road Transport Hauliers in the EU: Social and Working Conditions

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The purpose of this study is to inform the parliamentary debate on the social and working conditions of professional drivers in the road freight transport sector, by providing an updated overview of the relevant EU legislation in this field, especially in the light of the newly issued legislative initiatives of 2017 “Europe on the Move”. The study also summaries the findings that have been obtained through the consultation exercise that has involved stakeholders (trade unions) and drivers of some Member States.

The study offers a revised and in-depth analysis of the most pressing issues and trends affecting the social and working conditions of professional drivers. It seeks to identify factors to which better attention should be paid in order to deploy an effective enforcement strategy that secures greater respect of drivers’ social rights, which in turn guarantees them better living and working conditions.


In this respect, this study provides an up-to-date factual basis for the debate and puts forward the conclusions and recommendations formulated by the authors in their previous study for the European Parliament on the enforcement of EU social legislation for the professional road transport sector. It relies, inter alia, on the findings of Windisch et al. (2016) for the ex-post evaluation of the social legislation in road transport and its enforcement, as well as Gibson et al. (2017) for the impact assessment for the revision of the social legislation in road transport, both commissioned by the EC.

High-level overview of the road transport sector

The study presents a high-level overview of the main characteristics and trends of the road transport sector in the EU, which is described with respect to the volume of the activities carried out by the operators, the proportions of national and international traffic and the structure of the labour market. The high-level overview also highlights newly-established market conditions that may influence the social and working conditions of professional hauliers. Relevant figures are also presented which distinguish with respect to EU15 and EU13 Member States.

EU legislation impacting on drivers’ social and working conditions

The study outlines the current EU legislative framework that governs social aspects (working times, driving times and rest periods) and access to the market for the road freight transport sector (the 2009 Road Transport Package), by considering the rationale behind the developments in the legislation which have occurred at European level in these two areas.

To illustrate how the EU legislative framework has been evolving over the last years, the study introduces the latest provisions with regard to posted workers and the “smart” tachograph. Moreover, in due consideration of the EC’s 2017 legislative initiatives “Europe on the Move”, the study analyses the proposals to amend the legislative framework currently in force.

Given the mobile and international character of road freight transport operations, the proposals that emerged from Gibson’s findings (Gibson et al., 2017) have been structured with a view to enhancing the clarity of the rules, addressing market fragmentation, eliminating administrative burdens for operators and improving and harmonising enforcement measures.

Link to the full study (in EN and FR): http://bit.ly/602_000

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