Trucking industry closer to achieving paid waiting time

RSRT unveils draft proposal that guarantees paid waiting time for truck drivers and 14-day payment terms

Trucking industry closer to achieving paid waiting time
Trucking closer to achieving paid waiting times
By Brad Gardner | July 12, 2013

Paid waiting time and 14-day payment terms could be a reality for the trucking industry by October this year under a proposal unveiled today.

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) has released a draft road safety remuneration order that, if implemented, will impose new requirements on the retail, livestock, bulk grain, interstate long distance and intrastate long distance sectors.

The order, which is now open to industry feedback until July 26, states work includes queuing, loading and unloading a truck, inspecting a load, cleaning or refuelling, recording information and waiting because of a natural disaster or other emergency.

The order also states a hirer must pay an owner-driver within 14 days of receiving an invoice for work performed. It has set October 1 as a commencement date and for the provisions to expire after four years.

"The draft RSRO [road safety remuneration order] imposes requirements on the employers or hirers of those road transport drivers, and on participants in the supply chain in relation to them," the tribunal says in a statement.

Other provisions in the order include safe driving plans, contracts, work payments, training, drug and alcohol policies and dispute resolution.

The tribunal says the draft order comes after extensive consultation with interested stakeholders in the road transport industry, including 24 visits to transport and logistics sites across Australia.

In a statement, the RSRT says it will now begin further consultations on the draft order before deciding if a final order should be issued.

The order has relied on trucking-related definitions outlined in employment awards, such as listing long distance travel as any trip of more than 500km in one shift.

Employers will need to make sure a driver or owner-driver is trained by a registered training provider and will need to implement a drug and alcohol policy within six months of the order taking effect.

The order outlines the minimum requirements businesses will need to abide by when drawing up safe driving plans, which will be confined to the long distance sector.

RSRT President Jennifer Acton says she will also convene a conference on rates of payment for drivers covered by the draft order.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) wanted the RSRT to set minimum hourly and kilometre rates, Linfox proposed a rate formula for contractors and others suggested a cost model.

"None of the parties, however, have provided sufficient material for the Tribunal to be satisfied that the rates or approach they have proposed is appropriate for the purposes of establishing any rates of payment for road transport drivers, particularly contractor drivers," the RSRT says in a statement.

"The costing models available have varying assumptions and the rationale for selecting one set of assumptions over another is unclear.

"Similarly, the basis for some of the minimum rates proposed has not been adequately provided. Nor has the rationale for prescribing minimum rates, as opposed to adopting other approaches, been adequately canvassed."

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