Thousands of tests may have been cancelled on Thursday (19.11.2015) as a result of examiners striking.
ADI News understands that unofficial figures point to around 800 examiners going on strike across the country resulting in over 3,500 tests cancelled.
Trade union PCS claimed that the “vast majority" of UK driving test centres were closed but the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said many test centres were “operating as normal”.
The union had accused DVSA of putting road safety at risk by planning to increase the number of driving tests allowed in a day. PCS added that this could breach the legal requirement for elements of the test to be conducted in "good daylight".
PCS said it had “agreed arrangements with DVSA for new working conditions to be negotiated” last year but added that the agency was “now trying to impose detrimental terms, including lengthening the working day to accommodate more driving tests”.
On Friday (20.11.2015), Prospect members joined the action with front-line staff holding a three-hour strike in the morning before an indefinite work to rule.
The union accused test centre line managers of writing to members threatening to stop their pay if they start a work to rule action. Others have been told that they are not required to report for work.
Helen Stevens, Prospect negotiator, said: "Prospect has rarely experienced an employer behaving in such an inflammatory way. They are doing everything possible to bully, intimidate and harass their own staff into compliance, a shameful way of doing business."
Prospect has warned DVSA that its conduct is only likely to provoke further strike action.
DVSA chief executive, Paul Satoor, apologised for any inconvenience causd and said the agency was doing everything it could to minimise disruption to customers.
He added: “Staff signed up to a new standard employment contract in April 2014 in exchange for a lump-sum payment and a 3 year pay deal. This was agreed with the trade unions, and included transitional payments, which came to an end on 1 November 2015.
“We have also recently offered operational staff a number of flexible working options to enable us to provide more convenient and flexible services to our customers. It is disappointing that the trade unions have now chosen to oppose some aspects of the contract and the more flexible working options.”