Over 100 MEPs and industry leaders back the European Small Business Alliance in a call to relieve working time rules for self-employed lorry drivers.
In June the European Parliament voted by a small majority in favour of the inclusion of self-employed lorry drivers within the scope of a Directive rigorously limiting their working time. In a letter, published both in national and Brussels press, the European Small Business Alliance, backed by an impressive number of MEPs and industry leaders, calls on the Commission to stand firm on its position to exclude self-employed drivers from this Directive.
Directive 2002/15/EC serves as social protection for employees against abuse by their employers. One of the main reasons why the Commission proposed to exclude self-employed drivers from this directive is that these drivers neither want nor need this type of protection, as they are not employees. Moreover, being able to organize one's own working time is a vital part of being self-employed and crucial to keep a business alive, especially in the current economic situation. Not only has the European Parliament administered a serious blow to the appeal of becoming self-employed in a transport sector that is already struggling to cope with diminishing numbers of drivers, by voting against the Commission proposal, the Parliament has opened the doors to regulating working hours for self-employed in other sectors as well.
Encouraged by the overwhelming level of support, the European Small Business Alliance has proceeded to write to Commissioner Kallas, urging him to re-evaluate the situation and to bring the matter back to the European Parliament in a form that will be likely to obtain the support of the European Parliament.