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Period of Availability - POA

Introduction
Essentially, a POA is in essence waiting time known in advance. However, the elements that go to make up a POA and qualify as waiting time may be confusing as there are two critical elements to qualify:
Firstly, it must be known of in advance, either at the start of the drivers departure, or prior to the start of the period of availibility;
Secondly, it must also include the duration of the waiting time.

To assist in determining whether a mobile worker qualifies for a POA, we've included a set of examples below as defined by the Department for Transport.

What is a Period of Availability?
Under the regulations, a POA should satisfy the following criteria:

There are circumstances that do not satisfy the criteria of a POA and subsequently do not count. These are effectively situations where the mobile worker has to continue working despite the fact that he/she has no control over the circumstances, such as:

Workers and Availability
As long as the mobile worker is free to dispose of his/her time with a certain amount of freedom in much the same way that a break or rest period is taken, this would satisfy the criteria of a POA. Therefore if the workstation (drivers cab) offered this freedom, the POA can be taken at the workstation. However, if the mobile worker disposes of their time away from their workstation, they must be contactable at all times.
Where a mobile worker has to remain at his/her workstation due to reasons of safety or security, this would not disqualify the mobile worker from including this enforced wait as a POA, and therefore it can be included as such.
It must be noted here, that there are no requirements which dictate minimum or maximum lengths of POA's, as long as the period in question satisfied the criteria of a POA, regardless of length it will count as such.

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Examples of what Qualifies as a POA
The following examples qualify as a POA, as defined by the DfT.

Source - Department for Transport

Recording POA's
To ensure your drivers are giving you as accurate a picture as possible on a weekly basis to include in your records, we've provided a timesheet for that purpose, which can be downloaded below and manipulated to suit your needs at the link below.

Drivers Weekly Timesheet Drivers weekly timesheet - download here

Further Reading
For further information on Periods of Availability, please use the links below:

Periods of Availability - Dept for Transport
Periods of Availability - 1st Class Drivers

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