RSRT hints at paid waiting time and set payment terms

Tribunal lists paid waiting time and 14-day payment terms among provisions that may be included in road safety remuneration orders

RSRT hints at paid waiting time and set payment terms
RSRT hints at paid waiting time and set payment terms
By Brad Gardner | July 2, 2013

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) has flagged the possibility of requiring the supply chain to pay operators for time spent loading and unloading and to settle accounts within 14 days.

A report on a series of discussions the RSRT held with industry last month lists both measures as possible items to be included in draft road safety remuneration orders the tribunal may issue.

A road safety remuneration order is designed to set minimum remuneration and related conditions for drivers. Orders can be imposed on an individual trucking operator or the supply chain.

The RSRT held discussions with representatives from Linfox, Toll, the Transport Workers Union, Coles, the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) and others.

"The Contract of Services must expressly state that an Engaged party is to be paid, an amount at least equivalent to the reasonable standing costs of the relevant vehicle or vehicles, for time spent loading and unloading such vehicle or vehicles and any demurrage," the report states.

"A hirer must pay to a contractor driver the amount set out in a valid tax invoice provided by the contractor driver for the provision of any road transport services on any given day, within 14 days of the date of receipt by the hirer of the invoice."

Linfox and the ARTIO agreed with the 14-day limit, while the Australian Industry Group argued for 30 days.

The discussions also covered safe driving plans, contracts, disputes procedures, training, drug and alcohol policy and rates.

The report details what pay rates for operators and owner-drivers should cover, ranging from administrative and insurance costs to vehicle registration, depreciation and the cost of engaging relief labour.

It says a contract must not contain any payment terms likely to encourage someone to breach road transport laws.

Similar to a proposal Linfox lodged with the tribunal, the report says a prime contractor can withhold payments to a trucking operator if it suspects employee or sub-contractors are not being paid correctly.

The report also includes Linfox proposals requiring operators to take out a number of insurance policies and allowing the prime contractor to audit company records relating to vehicle maintenance, drug and alcohol tests, safe driving plans, driver details and compliance with relevant legislation.

The RSRT is scheduled to hold a hearing with stakeholders on the report on July 8.

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