The employment and transport sectors are a buzz with discussion on the recent developments at the RSRT.
The Retail and Long Distance Rates Order
The RSRT recently released the Retail and Long Distance Rates Order, that creates enforceable rates that must be paid to contractor drivers who are moving goods destined for sale in a supermarket or over long distances. The Retail and Long Distance Rates Order does not apply to the transport of fuel, oil or gas.
This Rates Order is due to come into effect on 4/4/2016, however transport and contractor associations are concerned that the Rates Order has fundamental issues that need to be addressed before it can be implemented. Many associations are concerned that the Rates Order is unclear in terms of coverage, does not apply well to real life situations such as part loads and will, based on the rates themselves, price contractor drivers out of the market and will “ironically hurt most the people it is supposed to protect” as one industry commentator put it.
The RSRT will hear four separate appeals on 15/3/2016 on the delay or repeal of the Rates Order.
The Draft Fuel, Oil and Gas Order
The RSRT has called for submissions from interested parties on the creation of an Order to apply to the Fuel, Oil and Gas industry. This call comes after more than two years of detailed conferences and informal hearings and submissions on the industry. ACAPMA has been involved in these conferences and has focused engagement on ensuring that the operational realities of the industry are understood.
It is expected that there will be a Draft Order put forward by early April and then submissions on proposed drafts will be open until late May 2016.
ACAPMA will continue to engage with members, the industry and the RSRT on this matter with a view to providing information and clarity to ensure that any regulatory outcome is focused and workable.
The RSRT Review
The review of the operation of the RSRT that was conducted more than 2 and a half years ago may soon be released.
The review which was required under s120 of the Act, and was submitted to the Employment Minister Eric Abetz in early 2014, was never publicly released. Based on the many submissions at the time it is anticipated that the Review is unlikely to be in favour of the continuation of the tribunal without some changes, specifically around the application and enforcement of Orders. Many submissions at the time called for the abolition of the tribunal in the whole on the basis that the central premise that ‘higher rates equals better safety outcomes’ has never been proven, and that the universal regulation of whole industries and employment relationships belongs in the hands of the parliamentary process, subject to review, appeal and oversight.
ACAPMA will keep members informed on further developments in the area of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. Members with questions are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org .