NatRoad recently sent members the two main Transport Awards, updated for the 1 July 2022 wage and allowance increases. Members have asked questions about some of the provisions in the Awards after revisiting the terms of the Transport Awards.
One question that has popped up more than once is why long distance drivers get a 30% annual leave loading when those employed to do local work, and most other award based occupations, get 17.5%.
Annual leave loading is an additional amount that’s paid to transport employees when they take annual leave. The answer is that for those doing local work and most other award covered employees, the annual leave payment has to be the same amount that the employee would have received if they’d taken the annual leave during their employment.
But that is not the case for long distance drivers. For their annual leave payments, they receive the rate set out in clause 16.1 of the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2020. The 30% loading in part reflects that the “safety net” rates in clause 16.1 will likely be much less than the usual wages earned by long distance drivers who get the cents per kilometre or hourly driving rate.
The long distance Award is different to any other modern award. A full-time or part-time employee employed under the long distance Award is entitled to a guaranteed minimum fortnightly payment, which must be twice the minimum weekly rate of pay prescribed by clause 16.1 for the classification under which the employee is working.