It’s only eight weeks until the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Order comes into effect. According to NatRoad the trucking industry is ill-prepared for, what it describes as, a significant interference with the historical market mechanism which determines freight rates in the industry.
A large proportion of the industry are Owner Drivers and NatRoad reckons they are not well informed (if informed at all) on the effects of the Order on their businesses. Inquiries made by the association indicate attempts by contractors to obtain information on the interpretation of the Order from the RSRT are being referred to the Workplace Ombudsman, the government agency tasked with enforcing the Order.
NatRoad reports, calls to this agency have been met with mixed responses including ‘what Order, we have no advice or knowledge of a Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Order’.
A great deal of uncertainty has been reported, with the situation unclear for all parties in the post April 4 world. If continuity of work is not guaranteed, subbies may suffer. While rates for many loads may meet the guidelines, back loading is likely to be a different issue.
The terms of the Order are lengthy and complex. A more comprehensive bulletin discussing the terms of the Order is available here.