NatRoad opposes TWU’s award review claims

Clark says union’s proposals regarding modern awards will increase red tape in the industry

NatRoad opposes TWU’s award review claims
Clark says TWU's claims are unnecessary.


The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) is fighting opposing parties in an effort to reduce red tape in the industry, CEO Warren Clark says.

Last week, the industry body made its final submission to the Fair Work Commission in response to the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU’s) proposals calling for changes in the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 and the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010.

NatRoad opposed all five claims made by the union on the grounds that they are "unnecessary" and will only add regulatory burden on an "already highly regulated" road freight industry.

Here is a list of claims made by the union and NatRoad’s response to most of them:

  • Include a definition of the word "driver" in the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 (Distribution Award). 
    NatRoad says a change in the definition of the word "would drag personnel covered by other awards into the Distribution Award because of the large number of non-driver tasks that are used to define what a driver is".

  • A change in the definition contained in the Distribution Award of what the road transport and distribution industry actually is, so that companies which move trucks and other vehicles rather than carry freight are covered by the award.

  • An overtime clause in the Distribution Award to apply in circumstances where an employee who "ordinarily performs" work under another award is temporarily required to perform work under the Distribution Award.
    NatRoad deems such as change will be an "administrative nightmare to apply".

  • An amendment to the clause in the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010 where a driver’s working hours set under a fatigue management plan must be provided with a safe driving plan for each journey.
    NatRoad says this requirement "could bring back one of the requirements that was unnecessarily imposed by the now abolished Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.  The proposed plans would increase red tape to businesses without improving safety."

  • Two new subclauses relating to the payment of a new "pickup and drop off allowance" in the Long Distance Award.
    NatRoad says the union’s proposal is "expressed ambiguously. Where the current loading and unloading allowance fits with this proposal is unclear. The TWU has not, in addition, isolated the problem that this allowance is said to solve. It would add costs to industry at a level that has not even been estimated by the TWU".

The two changes sought to the Distribution Award that NatRoad supports are:

  • An employee must work for 2 hours in a higher grade before an entitlement arises to be paid at the higher rate.
  • An employee, if notified the day before of a requirement to work overtime, is not entitled to be paid a meal allowance.

Clark says the trucking industry does not want to be "held back by red tape and additional regulatory burdens: and that’s what we stood up for in the Fair Work Commission".

"We remain critical of regulatory changes that impose additional costs on our members yet fail to bring about any productivity gains."

The decision in the case is not due until June this year.

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