Legal Private Hire Driving Hours?

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beccifloss | 12:40 Sat 09th Jun 2012 | Jobs
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My boyfriend is a private hire driver. He is being forces to work stupidly long hours without breaks, For example this weekend hes been forced to work from 05.30 untill 01.00 on the saturday and then 05.30 untill 20.00 on the sunday with obviously only a few hours sleep inbetween. He has also been told if he doesnt do these jobs they will have to 'reveiw' his employment. He is working for a company but is self employed. I cannot find any legal hours anywhere online however im sure this cannot be legal as he is tired which could potentially cause an accident. If you have any ideas or know where i can find out please respond.



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I'd say it's a health and safety issue - but I can't find anything quickly on-line either.
Agree with Boxy, health and safety. Those hours are ridiculous.
See if there is anything in this link. Haven't read it yet myself.

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Home > Driver Legislation > Working Time Legislation For Professional Drivers
Working Time Legislation For Professional Drivers
Author: Jack Claridge - Updated: 26 July 2010 | Comment
Working Time Directive Legislation

There are limits and restrictions on the amount of hours a driver can spend behind the wheel of a van, lorry or car in the course of their employment. These limits and restrictions were introduced in order to reduce the number of accidents on the roads.

This legislation is referred to as the 'Working Time Directive' and applies to other workers, but has specific criteria for drivers who do so in the course of their job.

What is the Working Time Directive?
The Working Time Regulations 1998 were introduced to reduce the amount of hours any one individual worked. For a long time prior to that many individuals in many different jobs worked more than forty-eight hours a week and in some instances received no extra pay for doing so.

The Forty-Eight Hour Week
Rules now ensure that for the majority of workers their working week will last no more than forty-eight hours per week unless they have signed an opt out clause.

Related on Your Driving Licence...

Eye Sight Standards for Driving in the UK
Your Responsibility For Your Passengers
Mobile Phones and Driving: Legislation
Smart Cards For Digital Tachograph Drivers

Rules for Professional Drivers
If you are a professional driver and spend most of your working week behind the wheel of a van, lorry or taxi for example then there are certain rules which apply to you and that you must adhere to during the carrying out of your job.

The rules for drivers are complex and vary depending on the type of vehicle and general length of journey you do.
As a general rule:

After driving for 4.5 hours a driver must take a break of at least 45 minutes
Shorter breaks can be made between short periods of driving
The maximum daily driving time is 9 hours
If he's self employed how can anybody force him to work any longer than he wants to?
They can't, tombraider, but if he walked away he'd become an out of work self-employed driver, I assume, until he finds other work
Sorry about long post. It wasn't meant to be, I must have kept finger on keypad. there is more but obviously link is there to read.
The working time directive doesn't apply to genuinely self employed persons...

However, this person doesn't sound like they are genuinely self employed, it sounds more like they are employed and the employer is trying to get round PAYE.

You can't be both self employed and working for one company
The company will be the point of contact for people wanting a car - they will then assign that job to a self employed driver.
They get paid by the hirer and by the driver for the contact - cross them and no work comes your way......
I assume they will be providing car, if its private hire, then cannot pick up off street, work will be pre booked and passed to driver by radio. Also assume they will be taking a % of fares taken on shift and driver will have to sort his own tax/ins out himself.
As a few people have pointed out your boyfriend is stuck in the middle here, if he wants the money then he is going to have to be "on call" between the hours stated. If he thinks it is too much he can tell the company, however don't expect many fares, if any, to come his way.

Although not directly employed by the company, they still have a "duty of care" to ensure your boyfriend isn't over doing things. You will probably find wording to the effect in his contract, with the company stating it is the drivers responsibility to ensure he is fully rested and informs the company if he feels to tired to carry out a tasking. This puts all the responsibility onto your boyfriend to ensure he is in a fit state to operate the vehicle when called upon to do so. By accepting the fare he is saying that he is fit and able to do the task, therefore any accident would be down to your boyfriends decision to drive not the companies.

It may seem a bit harsh but that is how companies operate to protect themselves from prosecution.

It is a drivers responsibility to ensure they are fit and healthy to get behind the wheel of any type of vehicle even if the boss of the company tells them to do so, every one has the right to say no but most say yes to keep their job.
I'm an ex Taxi Driver. As others have said the firm "sub contracts" the work out through bookings to the drivers. The boss is taking the **ss, I assume your boyfriend has a private hire licence? if there is another cab firm in the area you live in tell him to ask them about a job. Or set up as a cab firm himself after poaching some of the better clients.
Taxi work is not a 9 to 5 job but you have to have sufficient rest to do it properly.
I would imagine the boss wouldn't like a "Review" of his tax affairs if you get my drift I would remind the boss slavery was outlawed in this country a long time ago!

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