Despite a recent review of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal
(RSRT) commissioned by Federal Senator Eric Abetz, no steps have
been taken to disband the Tribunal or reduce its powers. Indeed, it
now appears that the RSRT is poised to make further orders that may
have a significant effect on road transport operators.
Operators caught by the Order need to ensure that they have in
written contracts with employed drivers and subcontractors that
meet minimum requirements specified in the Order; and
a drug and alcohol policy requiring random testing that meets a
list of requirements set out in the Order.
After undertaking hearings across Australia, the RSRT will
shortly publish a report on minimum remuneration for subcontractors
and owner drivers. The first RSRT Order imposed contractual
requirements on employers and principal contractors. The report,
due to be released on 27 October 2014, will form the basis of a
proposed new Order that will prescribe minimum national rates of
payment for certain owner drivers and other subcontractors. Various
models for minimum payments have been proposed by industry players
hourly rates based on the GVM of the vehicle supplied;
a cost model that takes into account variables such as the
region, type of freight and likely hours to be worked; and
published 'guideline' rates for certain vehicle with
the parties to agree on rates, with a dispute resolution mechanism
available if agreement is not reached.
Replacing the current unregulated system with an Order that
prescribes minimum rates of pay for subcontractors will have a
profound effect on the Australian transport industry.
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