What is the 6 hour rule?
In short the 6 hour rule is:
- A driver may not WORK (That means both driving & other work) for more than 6 hours at once without taking a break.
- Before working beyond the 6 hours you must have taken a break of at least 15 minutes.
- You can take this before or upon reaching 6 hours of work. So long as you do not work longer than 6 hours without separating it with a break.
- If working between 6 and 9 hours then you are requires to have taken at least 30 minutes of break in total before the end of your shift.
- This can be taken all at once or in sections of 15 minutes, but just remember that you can never work more than 6 hours in one stretch.
- This pattern continues if working beyond the 9 hours threshold whereby a further 15 minutes is required. Once again this 45 minutes can be taken all at once so long as you abide by the 6 hour rule.
To make this as simple as possible follow these rules:
1) You must take a break of at least 15 minutes either within the first 6 hours of work or upon reaching 6 hours of working time in total.
2) If you are going to work longer than 6 hours you must take at least another 15 minutes (30 minutes in total) before your total working time exceeds 9 hours and before you complete your shift.
3) If you are going to work more than 9 hours then you must take at least another 15 minutes (45 minutes in total) before your total working time goes over 9 hours or before you complete your shift.
4) Never work more than 6 hours at once with out taking a break.
*Any attempt to take a break which is less than 15 minutes will not qualify as a break.
*Break cannot be taken at the end of the shift, you must continue working for the break period to qualify.
The best way I find to help people understand this is by showing some examples. You will find some within the drivers hours guide and on the working time directive page.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your regular working day to see how it effects you then please send me an email or give me a call on (0191) 491 5032