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At a time when the transport and haulage industries all across Europe are suffering through a severe driver shortage, the French government has decided to implement minimum wage rules that will only make HGV driving harder for UK operators and their employees. As such, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling for the immediate postponement of the rules until proper guidance is provided.

According to news sources, the new rules come into effect on July 1 (2016). They will require, among other things:

So far, the French government has not been forthcoming with guidance that was promised months ago. This does not sit well with the FTA or anyone else in the haulage or transport industries. With just weeks to go before the deadline, it would be impossible for UK operators to comply with the rules effectively and efficiently, let alone legally. We agree that the rules need to be postponed until proper guidance is forthcoming.

Making Business in France More Expensive

Above and beyond the ridiculousness of expecting foreign operators to comply without proper guidance is the more important issue of making it more costly to do business in France. Just the one provision requiring operators to establish a French-based liaison will add significantly to the cost of doing business. The liaison company will have to be paid for their services, and whatever that ends up costing will have to be absorbed by the foreign operator.

Unfortunately, the whole sordid affair will only make HGV driving in France more difficult and expensive than it already is. It makes us wonder whether France is trying to drive the rest of Europe away. Furthermore, forcing foreign operators to meet French standards for pay relating to workers who are not even based in France is simply unacceptable.

Only time will tell if the French follow-through on enforcement of the new rules from July 1. We sincerely hope that common sense will prevail. In the meantime, perhaps French authorities will change their minds after realising how potentially damaging their rules could be to foreign operators.

The French issue notwithstanding, our company stands ready to train new HGV drivers at dozens of facilities throughout the UK. We make learning everything about HGV driving as easy as possible through a proven training approach that incorporates both classroom work and plenty of opportunities to practice in late-model vehicles. If you have been hoping to get your commercial driving licence, the HGV Training Centre is the place to do it. New classes are forming now, so contact us right away.

 

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