Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
It appears likely that many in the agribusiness sector will be
caught by the onerous obligations imposed as a result of the
Road Safety Remuneration Act 2012 (the
The Act established the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT)
and was introduced by the Labor government as a means to try and
reduce risks arising from pressures on road transport drivers in
The RSRT's primary function is to make road safety
remuneration orders. These orders are intended to reduce the
pressures on road transport drivers by setting out minimum
standards for engagement of road transport drivers.
The orders impose obligations on employers or hirers of road
transport drivers, consignors or consignees of goods transported by
a road transport driver, parties to a contract for the carriage of
goods by a road transport driver, and the operators of premises
used by road transport drivers to load or unload an average of at
least five vehicles each day.
The RSRT's first road safety remuneration order
(Order) commenced 1 May 2014 and will be in force
(unless the Coalition government abolishes the RSRT and underlying
legislation) until 30 April 2018. A contravention of the Order
exposes a body corporation to financial penalties of up to $51,500
and $10,200 for an individual. The full Order and other details
about the RSRT are accessible at http://www.rsrt.gov.au/.
The features of the Order which will likely be of greatest
interest to agribusiness include:
payment time within 30 days of a received invoice for
written contracts for road transport drivers, which may be in
an electronic format
contracts between supply chain participants
safe driving plans for drivers undertaking long distance
operations in a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of
more than 4.5 tonnes
training in work health and safety
drug and alcohol policies
dispute resolution and adverse conduct protection.
Many agribusinesses will have had no or little previous exposure
to this type of regulation, which is more akin to the regulation
imposed upon employers by industrial awards.
The major implication of the Order on agribusinesses is clear
– agribusinesses will need to carefully review any of their
arrangements which involve road transport drivers, even if they do
not directly engage the drivers. This will assist an agribusiness
determine whether it is caught by the Order.
Agribusinesses caught by the Order should make sure they fully
understand their obligations and how their business must respond to
new duties and requirements, and consider seeking legal advice to
ensure they comply.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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