A driver in transport without a business trip

Polsat Plus Group and Polsat Foundation together for children from Ukraine

There are two definitions of a business trip in national labor law: one for all employees and the other for professional drivers only.

For drivers, this definition stems from the Drivers’ Working Time Act, which underwent significant changes in this regard in February 2022. Changing the definition of a driver’s business trip has resulted in international journeys being removed from the scope.

On February 2, 2022, a fundamental change took place in the definition of a business trip for drivers. Before that date, such a journey must, in accordance with the then wording of art. 2 point 7 of the Working Time of Drivers Act, where each official task consists of performing at the request of the employer:

  • road transport outside the place where the employer’s registered office is located, for which the driver carries out his work, and any other place of business of the employer, in particular branches, representatives and branches,
  • departure outside the above-mentioned place or place for road transport.

As a result of the amendment of the above provision (which was related to the implementation of the so-called Mobility Package), foreign road transport is excluded from the definition of business trip. From 2 February 2022, a driver’s business trip is understood to mean any official task performed in the context of domestic road transport, consisting of performing road transport or departure for road transport at the request of the employer, outside the previously indicated places/places.

According to art. 21b of the Drivers Working Time Act is a driver who performs official duties in the context of international road transport, not on a business trip within the meaning of art. 775 § 1 of the Labor Code However, since any foreign journey (including the driver) usually consists of domestic parts of the journey undertaken to cross the border and return from abroad, the question arose as to how the domestic parts of the foreign to travel.

The current definition of a driver’s business trip has been introduced on the basis of the Act amending the Road Transport Act, the Driver’s Working Time Act and several other acts (Government Gazette 2022, item 209). The amendment also amended art. 21a, according to which drivers who carry out road transport in the context of a domestic business trip are entitled to delegation benefits after the change under the provisions of art. 775 kp

Such shipments are therefore subject to the regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy regarding claims against an employee employed by a state or local government budget unit for a business trip. However, in the context of the above provision, the question arose of how the domestic parts of international journeys should be treated. Does a driver in international transport, who travels through the country to go abroad or return from abroad, go on a domestic business trip?

The Ministry of Infrastructure, to which our publisher asked a question about this matter, decided not to. This opinion was also confirmed by the Chief Labor Inspectorate, in response to a question from our publisher (see box).

In light of the positions of both offices, international transport is the driver’s entire transport task, including the domestic parts of this journey (because they are related to foreign transport). Consequently, only drivers engaged in purely domestic road transport are allowed to make business trips.

Legal basis: Act of 16 April 2004 on the working time of drivers (Official Gazette of 2022, item 1473)

Author: Agata Barczewska
Tax Newspaper No. 57 (1932)

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