BREAKING: OWNER DRIVER AMENDMENTS SECOND READ IN PARLIAMENT

July 26, 2018

New Owner Driver laws are one step closer to reality after the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Amendment Bill 2018 was second read in the Legislative Assembly yesterday.

TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) Secretary John Berger said the Branch and members had fought long and hard for better rates and conditions for owner drivers and the proposed legislative changes are important steps forward in ensuring thousands of owner drivers are no longer be vulnerable to exploitation or forced into unsafe practices by supply chain pressures.

We thank all those members who have stood strong and staunch over the years to help make this happen. Stronger together!

The proposed legislative amendments include a range of compliance and enforcement mechanisms to protect owner drivers, including a fully-funded Wage Inspectorate, existing site agreements must be offered to new owner drivers and penalties for non-compliance.

The proposed legislative changes were successfully lobbied for by the TWU.

The TWU looks forward to working with all political parties and crossbench MPs in seeking full support for these important legislative changes.

PROPOSED CHANGES INCLUDE:

  • Amendments to the joint negotiation provisions of the Act to allow contractors to be offered a regulated contract on the terms and conditions of an existing joint agreement. This means any site agreement must be offered to new owner drivers, rather than a new contract for a new owner driver undercutting existing conditions.

  • Under the proposed changes there will be enforcement and compliance mechanisms policed by a $22 million fully-funded Victorian Wage Inspectorate.

  • There will be penalties for non-compliance and failing to provide rate and cost schedules and written contracts.

  • Payments will have to be made within 30 days of an invoice being received.

  • There will be a new low cost, binding dispute resolution process at Small Business Commission who will now have the ability to arbitrate on matters such as termination of contract. The new system will be more accessible for owner drivers and the union.

  • The Act will also be expanded to cover gig economy workers, such as Uber Freight.

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