Final Questionnaire for EIRO comparative analytical report on the impact of the working time directive for the road transport sector on collective bargaining

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 18 Δεκέμβριος 2007


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This study is concerned with the impact of the working time directive for the road transport sector on collective bargaining in the the Czech Republic.


Working time for mobile workers in the road transport sector is covered by Directive on working time in the road transport sector

(Directive 2002/15/EC)

This Directive establishes minimum requirements in relation to the organisation of working time in order to improve the health and safety protection of persons performing mobile road transport activities and to improve road safety and align conditions of competition.. Member states were requested to implement this Directive by 23 March 2005. However, some countries have yet to transpose it.

The Directive provides a definition of the types of activities that should be included in the calculation of working time. These are: driving; loading and unloading; assisting passengers boarding and disembarking from the vehicle; cleaning and technical maintenance; and all other work intended to ensure the safety of the vehicle. It also covers the times during which a worker cannot dispose freely of their time and are required to be at their workstation. The Directive also regulates maximum weekly working time, breaks, rest periods and night work.

Unlike the working time Directive, the Directive governing working time in road transport does not allow any opt-out. This means that companies operating in this sector need to ensure that the working time of their workforce complies with the Directive. However, under Article 8 of the Directive, derogations can be made from the provisions on maximum working time and night work, for objective or techncial reasons or reasons concerning the organisation of work, through collective agreements, agreements between the social partners, or by laws, regulations or administrative provisions, provided there is consultation of the representatives of the employers and workers concerned and efforts are made to encourage all relevant forms of social dialogue.

At present, the Directive does not apply to self-employed drivers. As it states, the European Commission will undertake a review of the situation after four years of operation. Therefore, at the latest by 23 March 2007, the European Commission will issue a report to the European Parliament and the Council analysing the consequences of the exclusion of self-employed drivers in areas such as road safety, conditions of competition, the structure of the profession and a range of social aspects. On the basis of this report, the Commission will then decide whether or not to apply the Directive to self-employed drivers from 23 March 2009.

The study

The purpose of this study is to assess the impact that Directive 2002/15/EC has had on collective bargaining in this sector in individual EU countries.

This study will examine collective bargaining and the regulation of working time in the road transport sector in individual European countries, looking at issues such as the organisation of working time, breaks, rest periods, working hours, health and safety, and the status of self-employed drivers. It will also look at whether member states have taken advantage of the derogation options, contained in the Directive, in the case of maximum working time and night work.

1. Details of the road transport sector in your country

Please provide some basic details about the road transport sector in your country. Information should include:

  • the structure of the mobile workforce in the sector, including size, type of employee, proportion of self-employed workers (see also below)
Developments in the proportion of total employment and gross value added accounted for by the Transport category 60.2











Average registered number of employees (natural persons)





as a % of employees in the national economy





Average monthly wage per natural person





Gross value added in 60.2 as a % of total gross value added at current prices





Source: Czech Statistical Office, RILSA calculations

The “Other land transport” sector is relatively small in terms of the size of the workforce, even though transport as a whole including communications (section I) is the third largest in the national economy in terms of employment. The proportion of employees has for long remained below 3%.

The sector is clearly dominated by male employees most frequently carrying out professions in the “machinery and plant operation” category (which includes motor vehicle drivers) with incomplete secondary education. Most work contracts in the sector are for an indefinite period; almost all employees work full-time, i.e. 40 hours a week.

ISCO-based structure of employees, types of work contract, scope of work and gender








Legislators and managers (1)


Professionals (2)


Technicians (3)


Clerks (4)


Service and sales workers (5)


Agricultural and fishery workers(6)


Craft and related trades workers (7)


Plant and machine operators (8)


Elementary occupations (9)




basic education - ISCED 1,2


secondary incomplete - ISCED 3


secondary complete – ISCED 3, 4


university – ISCED 5, 6


term of work contract:






scope of work












Source: Labour Force Survey, Czech Statistical Office 2003

In 2002, the average wage in this sector was far below the national average (the average wage in the national economy in 2002 was EUR 515).

  • the types of employers operating in the sector

There were 59,381 business entities in the sector as of 31.12.2003. More than 90% of this number is accounted for by small traders (self-employed workers) with no or just a few employees.

Business entities broken down by legal form and number of employees (2003):

legal form:

NACE 60.2







commercial companies



co-operatives, state firms, other







number of employees:





no employees



1-9 employees



10-100 employees



100 and more employees



not stated






Source: Register of Economic Entities, Czech Statistical Office 2003

2. Collective bargaining in the road transport sector

Please provide information on collective bargaining in your sector, including:

  • details of the social partners in this sector - trade unions and employer bodies, name, field of intervention (all the sector/specific part of the sector// all the workers in the sector/ part of them…)

The following entities are active in social dialogue at sectoral level in road transport:

a) trade unions:

Trade Union of Transport, Road and Car Repair Services Workers of Bohemia and Moravia (Odborový svaz pracovníků dopravy, silničního hospodářství a autoopravárenství Čech a Moravy, OS DOSIA); Transport Trade Union (Odborový svaz dopravy, OSD). Besides these two key road transport trade unions, the Trade Union Federation of Electric Tramway and Bus Workers (Odborové sdružení pracovníků elektrických drah a autobusové dopravy, OSPEA) is also active in the sector, but it is not sectoral in scope and does not negotiate higher-level collective agreements; it operates only at enterprise level and at a single employer (with which it concludes enterprise-level collective agreements).

b) employers:

Transport Union of the Czech Republic (Svaz dopravy ČR, SD ČR); Association of Transit Companies of the Czech Republic (Sdružení dopravních podniků ČR, SDP ČR). The Association of Building Entrepreneurs of the Czech Republic (Svaz podnikatelů ve stavebnictví v ČR, SPS ČR) also concludes higher-level collective agreements in the sector. As regards other organisations doing business in road transport, e.g. ČESMAD Bohemia, the Association of Road Haulers of Bohemia and Moravia (Společenství autodopravců Čech a Moravy, SAČM), and others, these professional organisations are not active in social dialogue, they do not represent employer interests and do not conduct collective bargaining.

  • whether there are collective agreements.

In the road transport sector collective bargaining takes place at enterprise level and higher-than-enterprise level (i.e. essentially at sectoral level). Enterprise-level collective agreements are concluded at enterprises between the relevant trade union bodies and employers. In the road transport sector the vast majority of the actors in collective bargaining at enterprise level are members of one of the three aforementioned trade union federations or three employer organisations participating in social dialogue.

Collective bargaining at higher-than-enterprise level always takes place between one or more employer organisation on the one hand and one or more trade union federation (confederation, association) on the other. Social dialogue conducted at the level of trade union federations and employer organisations tends to be regarded as less well developed compared to the capacity achieved in other spheres of social partnership (i.e. in particular at enterprise level). It is generally the case that enterprise-level collective agreements (ELCAs) have more specific provisions and are more matter-of-fact than higher-level collective agreements (HLCAs); they are also more widely used in corporate practice. HLCAs lay down minimum wage and social standards and thus tend to be more framework in nature.

If so, could you specify whether it is a sectoral one or whether there are agreements that are signed in significant companies. what proportion of the sector do they cover?

In road transport, HLCAs have been concluded almost without interruption from the start of the 1990s. At present we have registered a total of 5 valid HLCAs; four were concluded by OS DOSIA and its partners; one by OSD. These agreements possess the usual content structure in the Czech Republic, i.e. including provisions on working time.

a) HLCA concluded between OSD and SD ČR for 2006-2008 (covering 22,000 employees in 2006, according to trade union figures);b) HLCA between OS DOSIA and SD ČR, public transport section, for 2006-2008; c) HLCA between OS DOSIA and SPS ČR for 2005-2007 (applicable to organisations part-funded out of the state budget); d) HLCA between OS DOSIA and SD ČR, road transport section, for 2007;e) HLCA between OS DOSIA and SD ČR, road transport section, for 2007 (applicable to business organisations);

According to trade union figures, the HLCA concluded by OSD covered 744 employers and a total of 72,000 employees. There is no data for OS DOSIA for 2006.

As far as ELCAs signed in the road transport sector for 2007, the total number is not known. In 2006, ELCAs signed under the OSD umbrella (86 agreements in total) covered just under 40,000 employees, according to trade union figures; we do not possess data for OS DOSIA or trade union organisations that are not in this federation.

If there are agreements, how often are they renewed. What are the subjects covered : definition of working time

HLCAs are concluded for several-year periods and tend to be altered and added to by means of annexes agreed between the parties while the agreements are operative. This is also one way of making collective agreements respond to changes in the law (collective agreements contravening the law are rendered void).

The above also applies to ELCAs, but these tend to be negotiated for shorter terms, usually one year.

  • working hours

The provisions on working time and work breaks in these collective agreements are based on the provisions of the Labour Code (Act No.262/2006 Coll.). Working time is regulated by most of the aforementioned HLCAs. Additionally, the conditions of overtime work, work standby and rest periods are also covered by these agreements. However, HLCAs do not remotely utilise all the possibilities that the new Labour Code affords for regulation of these issues.

More detailed regulation of conditions in these areas are standard matters that are dealt with by ELCAs (the provisions in ELCAs must not be less advantageous than as defined by the relevant HLCA).

  • breaks

The majority of valid HLCAs also contain provisions on work breaks (there is insufficient information for ELCAs).

  • rest periods

The above also applies to this area.

  • controls and checks on drivers

This question is not mentioned in the concluded HLCAs (there is insufficient data regarding ELCAs, but it is possible to estimate that these matters are not dealt with as standard by ELCAs signed in the sector).

3. Implementation of the Directive 2002/15/EC in your country

Has your country implemented this Directive?

a) If so, please give details of the implementing legislation or collective agreement, and when it came into force.

The directive was implemented by government regulation no. 589/2006 of 6 December 2006, which lays down non-standard regulation of working time and rest time for transport employees. This regulation took force on 1 January 2007, with the exception of certain provisions (referring to directly applicable European Community law) which will be effective as of 11 April 2007.

Working time and rest periods in general are governed by Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code, Part Four. The definition of working time and prescribed weekly working time and short working times, the scheduling of work time, work breaks and safety breaks, rest periods, overtime work, night work and work standby are subject to the terms of the Labour Code.

Section 100 (1) and Section 213 (6) of the Labour Code empower the government to issue a regulation laying down non-standard working time and rest periods for transport workers and also to define in greater detail the set of employees that will be affected by such non-standard conditions. Under this empowerment in the Labour Code – and after consultations in the Council of Economic and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic (Rada hospodářská a sociální dohody ČR, RHSD ČR), i.e. at national tripartite level – the government adopted the aforementioned regulation no. 589/2006.

Article 78 of the Constitution of the Czech Republic gives the government a general empowerment to issue regulations to implement an act of parliament within the boundaries laid down by the act; regulations are signed by the prime minister and appropriate cabinet member. These regulations, which are lower in legal hierarchy than acts of parliament, enter into force upon being promulgated in the Collection of Laws.

If not, please give details of any debate about implementation, plus any likely implementation date.

The government’s draft regulation, drawn up by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic (Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí ČR, MPSV ČR) and the Ministry of Transport (Ministerstvo dopravy ČR, MD ČR), was opened for comments at the start of September 2006: it met with a number of objections. When being discussed at tripartite level (at the Plenary Meeting of the RHSD on 5 December 2006) it came in for criticism from employer representatives - principally the Confederation of Industry (Svaz průmyslu a dopravy, SP ČR) and trade unions as well (OSD). The employers’ criticisms related to the insufficient amount of time between their first seeing the draft and the start of its implementation in practice; the shortage of drivers in the Czech Republic, which the employers felt the draft would considerably worsen (partly as a consequence of the need to include drivers’ work standby in working hours); increased costs for transport firms; the failure to provide the appropriate funds out of public budgets; and so on. The trades unions mainly criticised the provisions on safety breaks and the length of work shifts.

Citizens also expressed concerns about the impacts the draft would have on road transport. The criticisms made by employer and professional organisations in transport were widely covered in the trade and daily press during the last quarter of 2006. For example, the ČESMAD Bohemia association of road haulers drew attention to the resulting need for more professional drivers (as much as a third more), as the intended government regulation would mean, according to this professional drivers organisation, that drivers would not be able to use on average as much as a third of their working time for actually driving a vehicle; and that would do nothing to improve the persisting shortage of 15,000 to 20,000 drivers on the Czech labour market.

The media also highlighted the fact that if the European directive was implemented Czech drivers would find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to companies from a number of European countries whose governments, irrespective of the risk of legal action by the European Commission, have still not transposed the directive into national legislation.

The government accommodated the objections put forward by the social partners in the tripartite forum and incorporated their proposals into the regulation’s final wording.

b) If your country has implemented the Directive, has implementation been effected by means of specific terms in collective agreements or brought new topics onto the collective bargaining agenda in areas such as health and safety, the organisation of working time, working hours and working conditions or onto these areas in general?

The implementation of directive 2002/15/EC through the said government regulation has not yet had a fundamental impact on higher-level collective agreements in force because too little time has passed since implementation (the start of 2007, see above). There is insufficient information as regards enterprise-level collective agreements.

c) The Directive allows for derogations to be made from the provisions on maximum working time and night work, for objective or technical reasons or reasons concerning the organisation of work, through “collective agreements, agreements between the social partners, or by laws, regulations or administrative provisions, provided there is consultation of the representatives of the employers and workers concerned and efforts are made to encourage all relevant forms of social dialogue”.

Maximum working time

Are there any laws or collective agreements in place that allow derogations from the maximum working week of 48 hours, extendable to 60 hours if the average of 48 hours a week is not exceeded over four months? If so, please give details and, if available, statistics on how many workers and companies covered.


Night work

Are there any laws or collective agreements in place that allow derogations from the maximum working day of 10 hours in a 24-hour period if night work is performed? If so, please give details and, if available, statistics on how many workers and companies covered.


4. Specific issues

a) What are the main problems in this sector in your country?

Are there requests from interested parties (employees, trade unions, employer bodies, the government) about regulation on any of the following:

  • health and safety
  • working conditions
  • long working hours
  • controls and checks on drivers

Transport firms’ concerns that the new Labour Code (but more notably the originally intended government regulation) would make them need to hire more drivers in both haulage and bus transport, both long-distance and urban transit, have not been realised, according to media reports. That was basically the end of transport firms’ objections to the new legislation as regards working time in road transport.

b) Self-employed drivers

Please give details of the kind of debate that is being held in your country on this issue. For example, what are the views of the government and the social partners on whether or not self-employed drivers should be covered by national implementing legislation.

The concerned actors have noticed that the new legislation does not cover, in the area of working time and other areas, self-employed drivers; however, as far as we know there has been no significant response to this fact so far.

c) Trans-border drivers

Are trans-border drivers concerned by your country regulation in the road transport sector? If so, please specify how. For example, which jurisdiction covers drivers who cross your country on their way to other countries? Is this an issue for debate in your country?

The said government regulation does not cover the issue of trans-border drivers. This area is covered by the appropriate international treaties and regulations.

d) Other issues

Are there any other issues of importance in your country that have not been covered above?

According to several Czech transport firms, the road transport sector suffers from a constant shortage of professional drivers; the most serious shortage is of lorry drivers. According to Česmad Bohemia, the rising demand for lorry transport (thanks partly to the Czech economy’s strong performance) has led to a shortage of almost 20,000 new drivers every year. Česmad estimates that there are approx. 50,000 to 60,000 active drivers; a number of drivers have gone abroad to work, e.g. to Great Britain, where there is also a shortage of drivers.

5. Views of the national centre

It is particularly important that each NC gives its own comments on the issues covered by this study. Please provide any additional information that you consider important to better understand the current situation and recent developments in the area of working time in your country’s road transport sector.

Compared to the aforementioned broad media coverage of the current situation in road transport in the past months, little attention is paid to the fact that since 2005 the Czech Republic has been at risk of sanctions for failing in its duty to implement European legislation on working time in transport.

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