Working hours rules to be relaxed to ease UK lorry driver shortage

The government is to relax rules this month for how long lorry drivers can work, as a temporary fix for a severe shortage of qualified heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operators.

“We’re aware of a shortage of HGV drivers, so I’m announcing a temp extension of drivers’ hours rules from Mon. 12 7月, giving flexibility to drivers & operators to make slightly longer journeys,” the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, wrote in a Twitter post. “We’ve ramped up the number of driving tests available & will consider other measures.”

Premier Foods, one of Britain’s biggest food companies, last week called on the government to consider using the army to distribute goods.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted many foreign workers to return home during lockdown, and new immigration controls after Brexi have led to staff shortages in logistics and other sectors such as construction and hospitality.

Industry leaders have warned Britain could face gaps on supermarket shelves this summer and a collapse of supply chains.

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