ASLEF Charter

The ASLEF Charter continues to underpin the union's industrial strategy and serves as the symbol that drives ASLEF towards establishing conditions of employment that provide the benchmark for best practice within the railway industry. As evidenced by the changes adopted at AAD, the Charter is intended to be far more than a wish list. First and foremost it provides a platform for negotiation through which companies can begin to understand and meet our members' aspirations. As pay and conditions of our members advance, so the Charter must continue to evolve to keep pace and reflect changing priorities.

The revised Charter, as agreed at AAD 2019, is set out below:

  • Professional salaries that befit our members' status, with sickness and leave payments to be 100% of salary.

  • Pensions to be 100% of salary backdated to first implementation date of DRI and the total eradication of the integration factor, and total opposition to any further contribution holidays or eradication of final salary schemes.

  • Retirement at 55 with the first stage at 60 with no loss of pensionable benefits

  • A safe working environment, with state of the art technology equipment for our members with a pro-active approach to occupational health and welfare for our members.

  • An average 32hr, four-day week over the yearly roster cycle for all our members with special cognisance of shift patterns and fatigue. The maximum working day not to exceed 9 hours 30 minutes, or between eight and nine hours when working night turns of duty. There should also be protection for our members with a minimum turn length not to be lower than six hours of duty. Rest periods between turns of duty to be set at a minimum of 14 hours.

  • All free time off from duty to be rostered consecutively, to be guaranteed and mandatory by the elimination of institutionalised overtime.

  • Improved annual leave and special leave arrangements with major improvements to 'work life balance' so that our members only work to live, with a more pro-active approach to obtaining better maternity, paternity and parental including adoptive leave arrangements for all members and strong representational rights to time off and for educational purposes. ASLEF recognises the importance of providing alternative work life balance opportunities and encourages the implementation of 'Job Share' agreements being made available through collective means for our members, however these arrangements should not be used to facilitate or encourage working beyond state pension age.

  • Total job security and protection for medically restricted members. All members who are unable to continue in their role due to ill-health or medical restrictions to retain their full rate of pay regardless of any other lower paid grade or role they may be placed into as a result. The salaries of drivers who are removed from driving duties due to competence-related issues to be protected.

  • The Freight Conditions Code supplements this charter; with special recognition that until freight can all be brought back under one publicly owned structure, there is a need to work towards greater commonality of T&Cs by the raising, not lowering of standards across the various operators.

  • All members having protective arrangements for security of employment, with the opportunity to transfer or obtain promotion with the aid of a PT&R or equivalent and protection from compulsory redundancies, including a National arrangement which facilitates members facing redundancy being able to transfer to positions within other operators.

  • Enhanced training and skills initiatives for all our members to enable them to carry out their public service responsibilities safely.

  • Pro-active recruitment of persons of those groups e.g. women and ethnic minorities who are currently under-represented among our member grades in the industry.

  • All members irrespective of service to receive equal free travel facilities and improved free travel facilities which may be multi-modal. This to include residential and leisure concessionary travel as granted to active 'safeguarded' staff employed prior to 1st April 1996.

  • No extension of Driver-Only Operation (DOO) schemes or introduction of DOO in the form of DCO or any other name.  All current DOO(P) schemes to be revisited and safety risk assessed with a policy of all trains having a second person who is trained and licensed at least to the standard required to carry out the duties of guard as detailed in the industry rule book.

  • Short-term or fixed-term contracts are unacceptable employment arrangements. However, ASLEF will actively seek to negotiate with TOC/FOC’s part time contracts but not to the detriment of establishment numbers.


Freight Conditions Code



  1. Average four-day week.
  2. A maximum turn length of 10 hours.
  3. Maximum continuous driving time of 5 hours with ops stops being in places with suitable facilities including toilets.
  4. A maximum 8 hours turn length on Ballast sites.
  5. Seek Recognition Agreements with all FOCs and challenge detrimental working practices.
  6. All drivers on worksites must have route and traction knowledge.
  7. A minimum of 12 hours, working towards 14 hours, rest time including for those lodging.
  8. Improved quality time off.
  9. Enhanced annual leave arrangements to improve work/life balance.
  10. No more than 5 days rostered consecutively.
  11. Job share / Reduced Hour Day opportunities which do not undermine the establishment.
  12. Improved working environments in cabs and better facilities for drivers to access.
  13. There must be no changes to the cab environment without the agreement of ASLEF.
  14. Improved staff travel facilities.


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