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Can a driver omit logbook entries if they have a second job or go on a job interview?

The legislation says that you must enter time worked, and that you must only keep one logbook. Issues are cropping up where companies are paying drivers using accounting systems that pay directly from their electronic logbook. However, if a person works for another company (e.g. in a non-driving-related job) or has a job interview, logging those hours would mean the company will be paying for hours it’s not liable to pay for as these systems cannot distinguish between the hours logged.

In both of these cases, the time unrelated to driving the primary job still has to be put in the logbook otherwise it breaches the law. This can become awkward if a person is going on pre-employment assessment drives as part of a job interview process.

For example: a driver drives 50 hours in the truck, but also took 3 hours off to do a pre-employment assessment with TR Driver Training. The TR trainer insists (rightly so) that the logbook must be filled out with the correct details. However, this makes the driver’s employer aware that they were driving for some reason, and further questioning might reveal that they are looking for a job.

There are ways of getting around it that are not legal. For example:

  • Purchase a paper logbook and make it the first entry
  • Use a dodgy training company that’s prepared to waive the requirements
  • Don’t fill out the logbook at all and hope that you don’t get pulled over.

However, these all leave the driver at risk of a fine or worse, and are not recommended as they break the law.

It may be possible to use a class 2 vehicle that’s within 50km of base (even if the driver usually drives a class 4 or 5 vehicle) as, technically, for a job interview, the driver is not being paid to drive the truck. However, any class 4 or 5 vehicle will require a logbook.

What can employers do?

Some employers are instructing their drivers to only record work time while working for their main employer in electronic logbooks, which is a violation of work time rules. Waka Kotahi is aware of this issue and it is caused by the company using an accounting/payroll system that pays drivers directly from the electronic logbook, which cannot distinguish which employer the driver has been working for.

Employers who instruct their drivers not to record secondary employment in the logbook can be held responsible under the chain of responsibility. Waka Kotahi is taking steps to address this problem, including seeking legal advice and implementing changes to new electronic logbook approvals. However, it will take longer to alter requirements for current electronic approvals. If Waka Kotahi becomes aware of a driver working for two employers, with one employer stopping the driver from recording work time, they will instruct that employer to switch the driver back to a paper logbook. It is important to note that all work time, regardless of the number of employers, must be recorded in the electronic logbook. Failing to do so is a violation of the law.

What can drivers do?

Drivers will need to run a paper logbook if the electronic logbook issue cannot be resolved.

What is a likely solution?

Electronic logbooks may, in the future, segment data by the transport service licence (TSL), enabling a driver to separate any time worked in secondary employment. However, this is not set in stone as planning is still ongoing in how to deal with it.

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Darren has written over 3000 articles about driving and vehicles, plus almost 500 vehicle reviews and numerous driving courses. Connect with him on LinkedIn by clicking the name above

Posted in Advice