The Albanese Government has assured the National Road Transport Association Board that its new workplace laws will not have a negative impact on road transport’s most vulnerable segment, owner drivers.
NatRoad Chair Paul Fellows said his Board received a personal briefing on the legislation from Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony Burke, this morning.
“The Minister gave us his guarantee that owner operators will not be disadvantaged,” Mr Fellows said.
“That wasn’t the case under the former Road Safety and Remuneration Tribunal which was deeply flawed and set rates so high that small operators were devastated.
“We note that the Fair Work Commission cannot make an order without lengthy consultation, input from industry advisors and having due regard to commercial realities.
“We are grateful for the personal briefing from Minister Burke and note his assurance that any FWC orders will be framed to preserve and even enhance the viability and competitiveness of owner drivers.”
NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said Minister Burke had committed to continue to work with NatRoad and other industry representatives to ensure the Commission has the power to make ‘road transport industry contractual chain orders’ to confer rights and impose obligations on contractual chain participants.
“Minimum standards are not new in road transport and many operators are already covered by state awards that set these out,” Mr Clark said.
“If this works in tandem with the previously new unfair contracts law taking effect in November, we hope to see fewer small road transport operators being held to ransom by big companies.”