If you employ van drivers to deliver your goods you should be aware of the EU rules on breaks during the working day. After a driving period of no more than 4.5 hours, a driver must immediately take a break of at least 45 minutes. A break taken in this way must not be interrupted. For example:

l Driving 4.5 hours break 45 minutes

l Driving 2.5 hours other work one hour; driving 2 hours break 45 minutes.

A break is any period during which a driver may not carry out any driving or any other work and which is used exclusively for recuperation. The break may be taken in a moving vehicle, provided no other work is undertaken.

Alternatively, a full 45 minute break can be replaced by one break of at least 15 minutes followed by another break of at least 30 minutes.

These breaks must be distributed over the 4.5 hour period. Breaks of less than 15 minutes will not contribute towards a qualifying break, but neither will they be counted as duty of driving time. The EU rules will only allow a split-break pattern that shows the second period break being at least 30 minutes, such as in the following examples:

l Driving 2 hours break 15 minutes; driving 2.5 hours break 30 minutes

l Driving 2 hours break 34 minutes; driving 2.5 hours break 30 minutes.

l For further information you can download a full copy of the EU & AETR Rules on Drivers’ Hours