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A majority of driving tests have been cancelled today as examiners from 350 locations have taken to a strike over a dispute to increase working hours. With the proposed changes, driving examiners would be working longer days with the same pay. The Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) are trying to push through legislation that would prolong the working day for driving examiners in an effort to fit in more tests.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents the 1,600 examiners on strike today, say that the legislations changes that the DVSA are intending to implement would conflict with the current legislation that states that tests must be taken in ‘good daylight’.
Furthermore the longer working hours would influence the effectiveness of tests as longer working hours would test the concentration of examiners. What makes it even worse for examiners is that their working hours are getting longer but their pay will remain the same.
The DVSA has put forward the changes to meet the demand for more driving tests. From January to March this year the DVSA had 407,904 practical car tests, an increase of 5.2% compared to the same quarter in 2014. There are several reasons for the increase in demand for tests; such as more people taking driving lessons as UK emerged from the recession, an increase of people in their late 20’s learning to drive for the first time, and also a slight rise in retests as the fail rate has increased.
The DVSA has advised that if you have your driving test booked for either Thursday 19th or Friday 20th, you should still attend the test centre as not all examiners are members of the PCS. Also you can claim out of pocket expenses for your cancelled test. However if you don’t turn up to the test centre you will have to rebook your own test and you won’t be able to claim expenses.
Have you been affected by the strikes? Please leave your comments below.
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