Return of the driver every 4 weeks: organization and compliance

Many European international transport companies strongly oppose the new requirement outlined in Article 8(8a) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, as amended by Regulation (EU) 2020/1054, to organize drivers’ work schedules in a way that allows the return of the driver “at home” every 4 weeks. This opposition comes mainly from escalating costs, which have already reached critical levels, making it challenging to maintain profitability in this industry, along with the lack of confirmed demand from drivers. However, growing costs are not the only issue they face. During road controls performed abroad, most regulatory authorities verify only tachograph data and push drivers to commit orally to detect violations, without conducting follow-up inspections at the company premises to confirm these. The authorities demand on-the-spot payment of fine deposits, resulting in a lot of additional administrative work and costs, as there is no other way to prove innocence except by appealing the later-coming notifications of penalties.

What is the return of the driver "at home" every 4 weeks?

The legislation stipulates that transport companies must organize the work of drivers in a way that allows the return of the driver “at home” within each period of three or four consecutive weeks (depending on whether the driver had two consecutive reduced weekly rests). To ensure compliance, companies must follow an ongoing and genuine invitation process and organize drivers’ work schedules, allowing the driver to return “home”, and demonstrate that this happens consistently.

What if the driver does not want to come back?

The drivers have the possibility to choose where they spend their rest time and aren’t obligated to return if they do not want. However, some companies thought that in this case, having a general waiver, where drivers express their preference not to return “home,” would suffice for compliance and started to use it massively. However, this approach was soon rejected as a suitable way in the European Commission Questions & Answers and, of course, by regulatory authorities.

How to correctly organize it?

The correct administration of compliance with this regulation should be strictly followed by the company and archived to prove their compliance. The key aspects to manage:

  • Documenting the internal process: create clear and comprehensive documentation outlining the entire company process, ensuring all steps are transparent and easily accessible to all stakeholders.
  • Implementing a persistent invitation system: Set up a system that consistently sends invitations to drivers, notifying them of their opportunities to return “home” through emails, internal communication systems, or other means they regularly use.
  • Archiving driver responses: maintain a proof of the driver’s response, whether they accept or decline the invitation to return for a specific date. Additionally, keep proof if the driver returns via a minibus or alternative transportation. Important! A massive collection of negative responses is treated by the regulatory authorities as a possible risk of agreement between the company and the driver to refuse to come back home. Also, no reaction to the invitation to return home cannot be treated as a negative answer from the driver and does not eliminate the company’s obligation to organize the return.
  • Planning travel for drivers: arrange and provide evidence of pre-planned travel methods for drivers, such as minibus schedules, train tickets, or other travel options, enabling them to return “home.”


In practice, drivers typically return “home” using alternative transportation, like a minibus, instead of their commercial truck. To align with legislation, travel time should be manually logged in the tachograph under “Other work.” It’s essential to ensure that drivers observe the full weekly rest time or compensate for any previously reduced weekly rest time.

In conclusion, while the new regulatory requirement poses challenges for transport companies, establishing clear processes and consistent communication can help achieve compliance. By following the outlined steps and maintaining transparency, companies can navigate this regulatory landscape while prioritizing both driver satisfaction and business sustainability.

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *