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Understanding The NZ Work-Time Rules
Understanding The NZ Work-Time Rules

Become an expert on New Zealand work-time rules

Updated over a week ago

As a commercial driver in New Zealand, you will already be aware that you have to follow the NZ work time rules and record your work/rest time in an NZTA approved work-time logbook. However, this doesn't mean the rules are easy to understand.

Logbooks are a record of work and rest time and are by law required to be true, accurate and complete!

Here at Logmate, we want to make it easier for you to maintain a logbook and stay compliant, so you can spend more time on the road safely and efficiently. So we developed an NZTA approved Electronic Logbook and Compliance Management platform to achieve just that.

Pro tip: We are one of only 9 NZTA approved electronic logbook systems in NZ and are available on both iOS and Android

In order to get the most out of your Logmate Digital Logbook, you need to first understand the NZ work time rules and how they apply to you as a driver.

After reading this article check out our article How Your Digital Logbook Displays Work-Time Rules to learn more about how we can assist you in staying compliant.

Your Work Day

In the legislation, you may have heard the term Cumulative Work Day. We are going to refer to it as Your Work Day to keep it simple.

  • Your Work Day includes a single Work Shift which can be a maximum of 14 hours in duration; from start to finish.

  • Your Work Shift will include both on-duty time and any rest breaks less than 10-hours in duration

  • Your Work Shift is not defined by a calendar day (it doesn't have to start at midnight or midday)

  • You need to take at least 10 hours off after you end a Work Shift in order to start a new one. Anything less than 10 hours will continue the same Work Shift, will show as a violation in your logbook, and not meet your minimum rest requirements.

  • The combination of your Work Shift and the minimum 10-hour continuous break that follows it is your Work Day.

Your Work Shift is split up differently depending on the type of work you are doing.

  • Drivers operating under a Small Passenger Service Licence only can have 7 hours of on-duty time before taking a rest break of more than 30min as long as all fares are under a distance of 100km.

  • All other drivers (and drivers mixing between SPS and other work types) have to take a rest break of more than 30min after 5 and a half hours of on-duty time.

What Is On Duty Time?

All of the following examples are considered "on-duty" and you should log them as either driving or other work in your logbook:

  • Driving

  • Available for hire (online on a rideshare driver app)

  • Refuelling

  • Administration

  • Loading & Unloading

  • Cleaning & maintenance of a vehicle associated with work

  • All other paid employment

  • **Any break less than 30min in duration

What About Rest Time?

There are three types of breaks that you will record in your Digital Logbook:

  1. Minimum 30min breaks during your Work Shift

  2. Minimum 10-hour break to start a new Work Day

  3. Minimum 24-hour break to start a new Work Period

The method to record each type of break is slightly different:

  • In order to record a break during your Work Shift, you need to click the Take Break button in your logbook. Note: If you return to "on-duty" in your logbook prior to completing your 30min continuous rest break (for example you return to work after 17minutes) that time will be added to your "on-duty" time.

  • The other two breaks are calculated based on the duration of time since your previous Work Shift ended. You do not need to do anything to record this break, it is done for you automatically. (If you start a new shift prior to the completion of the duration required then it will show as a violation in your logbook.)

Your Work Period 

Once again, in legislation, you may have heard of Cumulative Work Period. However, for simplicity, we are going to call this Your Work Period.

  • Your work period is not restricted to a calendar week

  • Rather, your work period is a collection of Work Days

  • All on-duty time from each Work Shift within a Work Period is added together

  • The sum of this on-duty time can not succeed 70 hours

  • In order to start a new Work Period, you need to wait for a minimum of 24-hours after ending your previous Work Shift before starting a new one. Anything less than 24 hours will continue your previous Work Period.

Supplementary Information

If you want to learn more about the NZ work-time rules and the effects of driver fatigue you can find more information on the NZTA website or here for:

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