Impact of the working time directive on collective bargaining in the road transport sector — Slovenia

  • Observatory: EurWORK
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  • Published on: 19 December 2007



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The Directive 2000/15/EC is implemented in Slovenia in the Act on Working Time and Compulsory Rest Periods of Persons Performing Mobile Road Transport Activities, and on Recording Equipment (Tachographs) in Road Transport. However, there exists an on going debate about that Act and many violations of regulation of working time are reported in the sector. Because of that it could be expected that the problems connected with the topics covered with the Directive will stay on the agenda of Slovene social partners in future. The implementation of the Directive did not bring new topics to the collective bargaining agenda in areas of health and safety or working conditions, while it influenced the debate on working time.

Background

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)
  • the types of employers operating in the sector

The mobile workforce in the road transport sector is divided to drivers in the passenger transport (that are covered with an existing collective agreement) and drivers in the cargo transport (that are not covered with collective agreements). The employers in the sector are small private employers/self-employed and bigger employers.

Some data on the workforce in the road transport sector in Slovenia is presented in the Table 1 below.

Table 1. Persons in employment by activities, 31st December 2005
Activity TOTAL Employed with companies Self-employed Employed with physical persons
Slovenia total 796,391 666,706 50,665 64,822
I. Transport, storing and communications 50,666 38,236 5,679 6,751
Men   28,291 11,323*  
Women   9,945 1,107*  
I. 60 Land transport, transport via pipelines 25,037 13,371 5,143 6,523
Men   11,434 10,767*  
Women   1,937 899*  

Source: SORS

* data is for self-employed and persons employed with physical persons

Data on the number and type of employers in the road transport sector in Slovenia is presented in the Table 2 below.

Table 2: Companies according to number of employees in 2005
  Micro company (0-9) Small company(10-49) Medium-size company (50-249) Big company(250 )
I Transport, storing and communications        
Number of companies 8,802 316 65 18
Number of employees 15,790 6,210 6,410 25,131
I. 60 Land transport, transport via pipelines        
Number of companies 7,205 219 37 7
Number of employees 12,930 4,112 3,558 11,105
I 63 Supporting and auxiliary transport activities        
Number of companies 887 70 17 6
Number of employees 1,912      

Source: SORS

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…)

Employer associations in the sector are the following:

1. Section for Transport and Communications (Sekcija za promet in zveze) of the Association of Employers of Slovenia (Združenja delodajalcev Slovenije, ZDS) (SI0211102F) that covers transport, storage and communication (Land transport; transport via pipelines, Water transport, Air transport, Supporting and auxiliary transport activities; activities of travel agencies and Post and telecommunications),

2. Association for Transport and Communications (Zduženje za promet in zveze) at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (Gospodarska Zbornica Slovenije, GZS) that also covers t ransport, storage and communication (Land transport; transport via pipelines, Water transport, Air transport, Supporting and auxiliary transport activities; activities of travel agencies and Post and telecommunications), and

3. Section for Transport (Sekcija za promet) of the Chamber of Craft of Slovenia (Obrtna zbornica Slovenije, OZS).

4. The Association of Employers for Craft Activities of Slovenia (Združenje delodajalcev obrtnih dejavnosti Slovenije, ZDODS).

According to the estimation of the employers’ associations their coverage of the sector is as follows: the Association of employers of Slovenia (ZDS) covers approximately 6 % of employers, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) even after transition to the voluntary membership covers the important number of employers in the sector (around 40%). After loose of 16% of members, they have 50 companies in passenger and 960 in cargo transport as their members: The whole section for Transport and Communications have around 2,500 members. Chamber of Craft (OZS) covers around 7,500 members i.e. more than 50% of the sector. Association (ZDOS) has 428 members that are registered for the activity of road transport (that amounts to 6% of employers in the sector)

At the trade union side there are three representative trade unions: Trade Union of Workers in Transport and Communications (Sindikat delavcev prometa in zvez, SDPZ), the Trade Union of Bus Transport Drivers (Sindikat voznikov avtobusnega prometa Slovenije) and the Trade union of road transport (Sindikat cestnega prometa).

SDPZ is a member of the biggest Slovene trade union confederation – the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije, ZSSS) (SI0210102F). The trade union covers air, maritime and street cargo traffic, post, currier activities and telecommunications.

Trade Union of Bus Transport Drivers is independent trade union that covers 15% unionised workforce in the sector and Trade Union of Road Transport is a small trade union in a big Slovene company (Intereuropa) and covers a part of employees (drivers) in that company.

  • whether there are collective agreements.

In the sector exists the Collective Agreement for Road Passenger Transport Sector in Slovenia (Kolektivna pogodba za cestni potniški promet), signed in January 2007, while the Collective Agreement for Road Cargo Transport (Kolektivna pogodba za dejavnost prevoza blaga v cestnem prometu) was canceled in 2003 and since then there was no new agreement. Trade union representatives report on the recent initiatives on the new agreement for cargo transport.

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?

Collective Agreement for Road Passenger Transport Sector covers all employers that perform passenger transport in Slovenia, except public city transport companies.

According to the estimations of trade unions, The Collective Agreement for Road Passenger Transport Sector in Slovenia covers more than 50% of the workforce in the sector.

In two biggest companies in the road passenger transport in Slovenia (Ljubljanski potniški promet, LPP and Izletnik Celje) there are also companies' collective agreements.

If there are agreements, how often are they renewed.

  • Agreement for Road Passenger Transport Sector is valid for one year (until 31. 12. 2008).

What are the subjects covered :

  • definition of working time
  • working hours
  • breaks
  • rest periods

The Collective Agreement for Road Passenger Transport Sector covers the following: definition of working time (Article 16), working hours, breaks and rest periods of mobile workers (Article 17). These subjects are defined in line with the Act on Working Time and Compulsory Rest Periods of Persons Performing Mobile Road Transport Activities, and on Recording Equipment (Tachographs) in Road Transport (Zakon o delovnem času in obveznih počitkih mobilnih delavcev ter o zapisovalni opremi v cestnih prevozih (ZDCOPMD, passed in 2005)

This collective agreement also covers annual leave (Article 24).

  • controls and checks on drivers

Controls and checks on drivers are not covered with the collective agreement, but defined in the ZDCOPMD in articles on Regulation on Surveillance of Enforcement of Regulation on Working Time and Compulsory Rest Periods of Persons Performing Mobile Road Transport Activities, and on Recording Equipment (Tachographs) in Road Transport cooperation and coordination of authorities, evidence and reporting.

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 in the Act on Working Time and Compulsory Rest Periods of Persons Performing Mobile Road Transport Activities, and on Recording Equipment (Tachographs) in Road Transport (Zakon o delovnem času in obveznih počitkih mobilnih delavcev ter o zapisovalni opremi v cestnih prevozih (ZDCOPMD, Official Gazette, 12.8.2005).

There was a strong debate prior the confirmation of the Act in the Parliament in August 2005. The bill was vetoed at the proposal of the interest group of employers in the National Council, with the argument that it ran against the minimal standards of the directive, setting stricter conditions than those set out by the document and that is in collision with the existing legislation. The then president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jozko Cuk expressed the opinion of the employers that Slovenian drivers will be worse off than their EU peers as they would be allowed to clock in a maximum of 1,040 hours in six months while EU directive sets the maximum at 1,248 hours.

The National Council expressed the opinion that standpoints of hauliers associations and the parliamentary legal service were not taken into consideration in the bill and that a new bill should be prepared that would summarise the minimal standards of the Directive and state that the bill was a special act on mobile workers The suggestion of the National Council was to exclude provisions regarding driving time from the ZDCOPMD and to deal with it in the Employment relationship act (by allowing exemptions for hauliers).

The transport ministry has explained that the new bill was a lex specialis for the drivers, but cannot effect the general legislation (such as the employment act). Transport minister Janez Bozic then expressed the opinion that maximum consensus was reached regarding drivers' weekly working time.

Employers are reporting that there are still many problems and open questions considering the implementation of the law, so employers' organisations are preparing their comments to the Act and expect that the Act will be amended and changed in the future.

Discussion on the ZDCOPMD is connected with the on-going discussion on the changes of the Employment relationship act that should define the use of ZDCOPMD regulations. Employers argue for the implementation of EU directives and regulation (Directive 2002/15/EC, EU Regulation 561/2006, Directive 2006/22), that would enable legal comparability and better competitive position of Slovene companies in Europe.

Trade unionists report about violations of the Act, especially regarding the effective working time, that has been defined by many employers as driving time. Shortage of drivers in the sector has been interpreted in very opposite ways. On the one hand shortage of drivers is considered making violations less frequent, while on the other, it is estimated that shortage of professional drivers cause violations as the employers are prepared to pay fines for braking the regulations just to assure that cargo (or passengers) will be driven on time to the planned destination. From the trade Unionists point of view, there are fewer violations in the unionised parts of the sector (bigger companies as LPP, Izletnik Celje), while in parts where are no trade unions and collective agreements the violations are more frequent (mostly in cargo transport).

rade unionists also expect that the Act will be changed. They are also preparing their comments and amendments on it. According to their opinion, the new Act should take into consideration the safety of the road traffic and stress the connection between the working time and health and safety at work. The on-going violations of working time regulations negatively influence health and safety of mobile workers. A special attention according to their opinion should be paid to the problem of evidence of rests and breaks for drivers.

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

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 Collective Agreement for Road Passenger Transport Sector defines organisation of working time and working hours and does not cover health and safety in working conditions at all. Directive did not bring new topics onto the collective bargaining agenda in those areas, while it influenced the debate on working time (see above).

According to representatives of employers, the maximum working time of 60 hours should be recognized in practice for mobile workers (regardless stipulations of the Slovene Labour Act), as the organisation and nature of their work is very specific. They also think that Slovene legislation should define night work lasting four hours (00-04 AM or 01-05 AM) as defined in the Directive.

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.

The ZDCOPMD in the Article 4 defines that the maximum working week of 48 hours is extendable to 60 hours if the average of 48 hours a week is not exceeded over four months. The Collective Agreement for Road Passenger Transport sector in Article 17 defines that working week is 40 hours, hours over 40 hours are treated and paid as overwork, but maximum working week of 48 hours is extendable to 60 hours if the average of 48 hours a week is not exceeded over four months.

According to trade unionists, there are numerous violations of the defined working time, especially in the cargo transport.

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.

The ZDCOPMD in the Article 7 defines that if worker performs nigh work for four or more hours, his maximum working day should not exceed 10 hours in a 24 hour period.

Trade unionists report on ongoing debates on the issue of night work in which employers suggest that only four hours of night work should be treated (paid more, accounted for longer breaks) as night work, while trade unionists demand that all the work from 23.00 -07.00 should be treated as nigh work.

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…………………not mentioned in the ZDCOPMD/ Collective agreement
  • working conditions……………… not mentioned in the ZDCOPMD/ Collective agreement
  • long working hours………………….covered in the ZDCOPMD/ Collective agreement
  • controls and checks on drivers…………………. covered in the ZDCOPMD

According to the opinion of trade unionists, the expected changes of the ZDCOPMD should take into consideration the safety of the road traffic and stress the connection between the working time and health and safety at work. The on-going violations of working time regulations negatively influence health and safety of mobile workers.

Employers report on specifics concerning passenger transport and their suggestion is to take into consideration already agreed regulations from the Collective agreement for passenger transport and provisions of the Regulation 561/06/EC (on working time, breaks, night work, records, daily rests) and Employment Act (on weekly rest).

Trade union representatives report on active and demanding social dialogue on the changes of the ZDCOPMD. One of issues on which agreement was reached is issue of fines. Both sides agreed that fines must be proportional to the violations and those have been defined in more details.

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.

According to employers' representatives, there is no debate on self employed drivers that are for the period until 23.March 2009 excepted from the implementation of the Directive.

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?

ZDCOPMD is valid for all drivers and inspection authorities have instructions how to implement the control.

Representatives of employers think that all countries should control that employers on their territory respect the Directive. Employers report that is not the issue in discussions with trade unions.

Trade unionists report about violations of the national legislation by Slovene hauliers that are present in international transport. There are numerous new employers in the cargo transport in which drivers except low wages, traveling allowances as a part of wage. Only after a certain period of bearing bad working conditions, exhausted workers ask for trade unions' help.

d) Other issues

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

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.

Although the Directive 2000/15/EC is implemented in Slovenia in the ZDCOPMD, because of the on going debate about that Act and because of reported violations of regulation of working time in the sector it could be expected that the problems connected with the topics covered with the Directive will stay on the agenda of Slovene social partners in future.

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