FWO takes charge of RSRT rates order promotion

By: Anjali Behl


The Ombudsman says it is working with RSRT and TWU to educate the industry

FWO takes charge of RSRT rates order promotion
The FWO says it is developing further informative assistance for the industry, in consultation with the RSRT and other relevant industry stakeholders.

 

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is responsible for educating transport industry professionals and workplace participants on the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s (RSRT) new rates order.

The confirmation comes as some industry players keen for details on how tackle the order's complexities report difficulty in finding such information.  

The road safety remuneration order (RSRO) mandates compulsory hourly and kilometre payments from April 4, 2016 for contractor drivers involved in supermarket work and linehaul operations.

The new order is due to run until at least April 3, 2020 and includes annual rate increases of 2 per cent and once implemented, it will require mandatory payment for time spent queuing and filling out work diaries, and taking compulsory fatigue management rest breaks.

The FWC has a role to "monitor and ensure compliance with the Act [Road Safety Remuneration Act 2012] and any enforceable instruments made pursuant to the Act", a spokesperson tells ATN.

The FWO has an arrangement with the RSRT to be notified of the creation of enforceable instruments such as orders or road safety collective agreements. 

The Tribunal has issued two RSROs so far.

"The FWO has arrangements with the Tribunal to accept direct referrals of matters; however, we can also accept complaints or requests for assistance from members of the public," the FWO says.

"Referrals and requests dealt with so far were resolved by a combination of letters of caution, infringement notices, collection of intelligence and the issue of one compliance notice."

Since 2012-13 the FWO has engaged the Australian Road Transport Industry Association (ARTIO) and the Transport Worker’s Union (TWU) to assist with educational and promotional activities.

Finalising its services under the contract, the ARTIO has delivered educative materials, presentations and assistance on the Act and national workplace laws to both members and non-members.

The TWU is currently working on a smart phone app for road transport drivers.

The app will provide drivers with information about the Act and the Road Safety Remuneration (RSR) system including the first road safety remuneration order.

It will be free of charge to both union members and non-members

"Any promotional activities undertaken by the TWU will be solely for educative purposes," the FWO says.

In addition, the RSRT has developed an online payments calculator to assist parties calculate minimum payments under the new order.

It is due to publish the calculator on its website in the coming days.

The FWO has published tailored educational information about the operation of the RSRO on its website and is currently developing further educative assistance for the industry, in consultation with the RSRT and other relevant industry stakeholders.

"Our Fair Work Infoline advisers are trained to answer queries and provide advice from callers as well," the FWO says.

"We published information to alert the community to the RSR order via the FWO Corporate Twitter account last month, generating 2,750 impressions.

"While currently we do not have plans to conduct an audit or targeted campaign in respect of the RSR jurisdiction, we will of course monitor the impact and operation of the second RSRO once it takes effect in April 2016.

"The FWO treats requests for assistance and education arising in respect of an RSR instrument consistently with its usual operating model and is well placed to provide advice, early intervention and assisted resolution services on a case by case basis. 

"Should it be determined that an investigation is the most appropriate action, that process will be undertaken consistently with our compliance and enforcement policy."

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