Fair Termination Code Needed to Protect Truck Operators

Termination Code, Closing Loopholes, fair practices,
NatRoad calls for fair practices in the Termination Code to protect trucking businesses and employees, helping to ensure security and confidence.

Read time: 2 mins

Executive summary

  • NatRoad has provided a submission to the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024, regarding the proposed Termination Code
  • We welcome the proposed new protections for regulated road transport contractors (RRTCs) against unfair termination under the proposed code
  • We are also calling for assurances that the Code will be flexible and fair, and reflect the operational realities of the trucking industry, a key part of the nation’s supply chain

Termination Code Must Ensure Fair Practices to Protect Truck Operators

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) has responded to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations on the Road Transport Industry Termination Code Discussion Paper, calling for the protection of trucking businesses and employees.

“We are calling for assurance that the Termination Code will protect truck operators through fair practices, providing them with the security necessary to allow them to confidently invest and grow their businesses,” NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said.

“Truck operators are highly skilled professionals who form an essential part of the nation’s supply chain. The proposed Termination Code must reflect the operational realities of the road transport industry, ensuring flexibility and fairness while protecting drivers.”

NatRoad, Australia’s largest national association representing road freight transport operators, is working to ensure balance and fairness in the industry. The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024 introduces new protections for regulated road transport contractors (RRTCs) against unfair termination, a move that NatRoad strongly supports.

Key Points of NatRoad’s Submission:

Protection Against Unfair Termination:

  • Establishing clear criteria to differentiate between regular, systematic engagements and irregular or sporadic engagements.
  • Ensuring that terminations are based on valid reasons such as conduct-related breaches, capacity-related issues, or genuine commercial reasons.

Secure Investments:

  • Recognising the significant investments made by truck operators in their vehicles and equipment.
  • Providing appropriate notice periods and flexibility in termination processes to reflect the nature of the industry and protect operators from abrupt contract terminations, therefore keeping them on the road where they are needed.

Fair Commercial Practices:

  • Developing a termination code that supports the unique structure and operational dynamics of the road transport industry.
  • Ensuring that contracts are reliable and that operators can confidently invest in their businesses.

“We are already dealing with a truck driver shortage, and so if our operators are not able to be confident regarding the future of their contracts, this issue will only get worse,” Mr Clark said.

“That’s why we want to emphasise the importance of a practical and effective Termination Code that balances the rights and obligations of road transport businesses and their contractors and sub-contractors.”

NatRoad’s detailed response underscores the need for a termination code that not only protects the interests of truck operators but also supports the broader community. Truck operators are integral to the supply chain, and their stability ensures the continued support of downstream industries such as fuel stations, mechanics, and local businesses.