Keeping your business moving in the right direction
The experience of our team and the size of our client base, enable us to provide a superior service to clients in the transport sector. We have lawyers especially dedicated to employment law who are passionate about the issues facing the transport sector. With that comes a focused and knowledgeable approach to your needs.
Public transport, freight and logistics and air transport are just some of the areas of our expertise.
If you want to talk to a specialist please contact Meredith Hurst, who heads up the Transport sector team. We would love to hear from you if you have any specific legal requirements or just want guidance about current developments affecting the world of transport.
Key employment law issues affecting the transport sector
- Working time – Employers have an obligation to take all reasonable steps in keeping with the need to protect workers health and safety to ensure that each worker’s average working time (including overtime) does not exceed 48 hours per week. All workers are covered by the 48 hour working week but there are some exemptions such as mobile road transport workers.
- Employment status – The employment status of an individual is important for a number of reasons. For example, certain important legal rights only apply if an individual is an employee. However, increasingly rights are also additionally being granted to workers. Transport businesses particularly those in the freight and logistics sector commonly engage self employed drivers. There are also issues surrounding the use of agency workers and casual labour to consider.
- Trade union law – Large public transport operators are often unionised. This requires an understanding of the processes involved in both union recognition and ongoing consultation with unionised workers.
The Department for Transport has launched a consultation paper to help inform its forthcoming review of UK domestic drivers’ hours rules. The rules, which govern daily driving limits and rest requirements, were designed to support road safety and the health and safety of drivers of commercial vehicles. The review will consider whether the rules remain relevant to the policies they implement and support and whether they aid fair competition within the road haulage and passenger transport industries.
Efforts underway to improve access to the road network for disabled users have been outlined in a new publication by the Highways Agency. The public body is carrying out a series of projects on motorways and trunk roads in England and a consultation has been conducted with a range of organisations that represent the needs of those with disabilities. Currently available online, the report covers issues such as the use of dropped kerbs, tactile paving and raised footways to ease access to buses. Ginny Clarke, the agency’s director of network services, remarked: “Our new schemes already provide for the needs of disabled people, but we are now embarking on a program to improve our existing infrastructure.” With more than ten million disabled people in the UK, many of whom are pensioners and children, the Highways Agency is attempting to meet their transport requirements and improve links to key destinations over the coming years.
Green initiative. Dozens of new hybrid buses are to be integrated into London’s public transport network as part of plans to improve air quality in the city. According to Transport for London, finance for 90 vehicles has been secured from the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund. The buses will take a hybrid fleet up to more than 200 and they will be put into service in some of the areas of the city that have been identified as pollution hotspots including Marylebone Road and Edgware Road. Arriva will operate the new vehicles on a number of routes through the capital.
Underground Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi on the Tube may be available from next year. London Underground is inviting bids from telecommunications companies. It is hoped that by the time of the Olympics, passengers at 120 stations will be able to get on-line.
The experience of the team
Meredith acts for a major national bus company advising on all employment law matters involving driver performance and conduct. He also acts for companies in the freight and transport sector and has a particular interest in issues concerning employment status and the challenges this poses to the freight and distribution sector. He also deals with all employment tribunal cases personally from start to finish including conducting the hearing to ensure continuity. This enables him to get to know your business and the personalities within it.
Kate has been involved in a key case that was heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal, involving the issue of employment status and mutuality of obligation for a courier and freight company Younis v Transglobal UKEAT/0504/05/SM.
Our team members have provided extensive training to businesses within the transport sector. This training has included, by way of example, hosting seminars, holding workshops and supplying our own bespoke employment law training programmes in multimedia and e-learning formats.