A new land transport rule comes into effect on 6 May 2019 after concerns were raised that new meal and rest break entitlements coming into force that day could cause the cancellation of numerous daily bus services.
The Land Transport Rule: Work Time in Large Passenger Service Vehicles 2019 has the purpose of providing short term measures to enable operators of scheduled passenger services to schedule the timing of 10-minute breaks and rest breaks efficiently and safely, while minimising disruption to services.
The rule also aims to avoid disruptive effects on mobility and potential risks to safety.
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says in addition to the new rule, councils, union heads and bus operators have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding.
He says meetings were held with bus operators, councils and unions to find a way to manage the transition to the new rules on breaks with minimal disruption to passengers.
The new rule has become necessary because of changes made by the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018. These make a number of changes to the commercial transport sector from 6 May.