Avoid mandated Owner Driver pay rates: NatRoad

Devil in the detail of proposed Victorian legislation National Road Transport Association says

Avoid mandated Owner Driver pay rates: NatRoad
NatRoad CEO Warren Clark


Imposing mandated rates of pay for owner drivers would be bad for them, bad for business and bad for the economy, National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) chief executive Warren Clark says.

Clark made the comments after Victorian minister for industrial relations Natalie Hutchins announced she would be introducing amendments to the state’s owner driver laws earlier this week, acting on findings from a review that began in 2016.

Check out our report on the proposed changes here

Since that time, Clark said that avoiding a mandated rate of pay had been one of NatRoad’s key concerns, saying it harmed the drivers that it aimed to protect.

"From the terms of the Minister’s announcement, it seems that this element of regulation is not to proceed, but the devil will be in the detail of the Bill that is introduced," he says.

"In this context, we remain satisfied that the voluntary components of the current scheme work well and the need to mandate penalties for failure to provide a written contract, for example, may adversely impact business."

That said, Clark said he did approve of early promises that the new bill would ensure drivers are paid within 30 days of issuing an invoice, though he said it would be better if this were part of a code for the industry introduced in Commonwealth legislation.

"Such a Code would especially assist in regulating payment times, as well as containing a prohibition on set-offs and pay-when-paid arrangements," he says.

"These are major and long-standing issues affecting the road transport industry nationally."

Clark says NatRoad is looking forward to examining the terms of the Bill, adding that he was seeking the findings of the government review to be made public.

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