The wholesale and retail petroleum industry is a unique and challenging one, not just because of the dangerous and hazardous chemicals we deal with in our workplaces, but also because of the complicated employment laws and regulations that apply in this area.

Employment law in Australia is characterised by complexity, however the application of this complex system to the wholesale and retail petroleum industries leaves even experts confused.

So where do you turn if you need advice, support and assistance with employment matters? You turn to your industry association, ACAPMAs workplace relations professionals are here to help.

Complexity, with a side order of confusion?

I read a very detailed and thought-out article on the complexity of employment law in Australia recently.

Whilst the author used the General Retail Award 2010 as an example to highlight the complexity of employment law, petrol convenience operators, e.g. those convenience stores that also sell fuel, should not forget fuel is special.  It would be completely wrong for an operator of such a business to use other than the Vehicle Manufacturing Repair Services and Retail Award 2010 for the retail fuel industry.  Many have fallen into the trap of applying the General Retail Award 2010 to the employment of console operators and other associated retail fuel staff, which unfortunately has been to their great expense.

We have covered this numerous times and its worth reviewing (here), here and here, so you don’t get it wrong!

Console operators, driveway attendants and roadhouse staff are covered by the Vehicle Manufacturing Repair Services and Retail Award 2010 (VMRSR Award).  The modern awards are clear, the award that most closely matches the job tasks of the employee is the one that applies, and the VMRSR Award, specifically provides for console operators, driveway attendants and roadhouse staff, so it applies, rather than the General Retail Award 2010.  There is no wiggle room, if the job tasks match a console operator, driveway attendant or roadhouse staff then the VMRSR Award applies.

What hope does a small business have?

As small and medium businesses operating in the wholesale and retail petroleum industries, you can rightly ask this question: If professionals are can be confused what hope do I have?  Thankfully you are not alone.  ACAPMA Members are reminded that as part of their membership they can seek advice, guidance, support and even representation on employment matters from the ACAPMAlliance Workplace Professionals, for no extra cost.

ACAPMAlliance has full-time qualified workplace relations professionals, who are very familiar with the nuances of the wholesale and retail petroleum industry.  They are here to work with you on your employment and compliance issues and can assist with:

  • Award interpretation and application
  • Enterprise Agreement interpretation and application
  • Individual Employment Contracts
  • Individual Flexibility Agreements
  • Casual Conversion
  • Fair Work Statements and the National Employment Standards
  • General Employment Policies
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Induction and Development
  • Performance Management
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Union Right of Entry
  • Transfer of Business

ACAPMA Workplace Relations Professionals are available on 1300 160 270 to help members, or you can email me on  When raising an issue or asking a question via email do try to provide as much detail as possible and seek your advice and support as far in advance of planned actions as possible.  Don’t leave it until the day before a sale to ask questions about transfer of business, please :)

ACAPMA is here to help!

ACAPMA members can access resources and can call on the advice and support of the ACAPMAlliance Workplace Relations Professionals on 1300 160 270.

Elisha Radwanowski  |  BCom (HRM & IR)
Manager of Association Business
Workplace Relations Manager

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by  calling 1300 160 270 and speaking to one of ACAPMA Workplace Relations Professionals it’s free for members.

ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $770 per year for a single site, which represents great value with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts. Learn more about ACAPMA membership here.