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Fire Services: Working Hours

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent guidance his Department has issued to fire and rescue services on the application of European Road Transport Working Time Regulation (EC) 561/2006 in respect of retained firefighters who drive vehicles and who also (a) work as commercial drivers and (b) work in other occupations. (296495)

The EU Regulation on drivers' hours (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) prescribes maximum limits on driving time and minimum requirements for breaks and rest periods.

The then Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Poplar and Canning Town (Jim Fitzpatrick) met with the Retained Firefighters Union in November 2008 and explained that time spent on duty as a retained firefighter outside a driver's regular employment counts as other work rather than rest. As a result, the driver is required, in common with other drivers who have a second job, to declare it as a period of other work and ensure that the required daily and weekly rest periods are taken.