Minimum rates for truck owner drivers

In an overnight (1 April 2016) development, Justice Collier, of the Federal Court, handed down a decision to temporarily stay the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order until the Federal Court issues a further order.

This decision came as a result of the National Road Transport Association’s (NRTA) urgent application. A copy of the decision is available here on the NRTA’s website: http://www.natroad.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Stay-Order.pdf

This means that minimum rates for truckowner drivers will NOT start this Monday 4 April 2016. The Federal Court will hold further hearings, initially to determine whether a longer stay period is warranted and subsequently the substantive appeal proceedings.

Earlier on Friday 1 April 2016, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) handed down a decision not to grant a delay to the start of the 2016 order despite strong representations from industry participants, including the National Farmers Federation. The decision followed a rushed hearing over the Easter long weekend to determine whether the 2016 order should be delayed in which the tribunal received more than 800 applications voicing confusion and concern over the terms of the order.  Despite the determination, uncertainties over how the order would apply to return loads and split load hires remain unanswered.

The 2016 order covers owner drivers involved in long distance work (interstate or more than 500km return trip) and cartage of goods destined for supermarket chain.

If you’d like further clarifications on the terms of the 2016 order and how they may affect your arrangement with a truck owner driver, please contact the head of our industrial relations team (Gracia Kusuma: 02 9478 1000 or kusumag@nswfarmers.org.au.

In another development on 1 April 2016, the Minister for Employment, Michaelia Cash announced a consultation process to review the Road Safety Remuneration System and released the findings of two independent reviews into the Road Safety Remuneration System commissioned by the government.

The first report was produced by Jaguar Consulting in April 2014, and the second report was completed by PwC in January 2016. Both reports concluded significant regulatory overlap and duplication. The PwC report found that the RSRT activities will cost $2 billion more than the benefits by 2027.

The 2016 order represents an unnecessary and costly market intervention when Australia already has one of the strongest work health and safety laws in the world and robust rules to address heavy vehicle safety.

The discussion paper issued by the Department of Employment for consultation with interested stakeholders put forward four options, including a repeal of the RSRT. NSW Farmers welcomes the consultation and will be advocating for the abolishment of the RSRT.

Ends

Extract from NSW Farmers Weekly Newsletter - Farm Post Online (last updated 2 April 2016 at 5:00pm)

Contact: Gracia Kusuma

Phone: 02 9478 1000

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