Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (Tribunal) is an independent tribunal with functions relating to the road transport industry. Established in 2012, the RSRT was originally formed to look at improving road safety, although it has powers to impose related obligations on the broader road transport supply chain nationally.

Each year the Tribunal creates what is called an ‘Annual Work Program’, which sets out the matters the Tribunal intends to deal with in the following year.

The first Annual Work Program dealt with an inquiry into the long distance and supermarket supply chain sectors of the road transport industry.

That inquiry resulted in the first Road Safety Remuneration Order (RSRO). The RSRO had no effect on the remuneration of drivers, but rather imposed other obligations on employers and other entities involved with the transportation of goods or services. Such obligations included the need for written contracts, safe driving plans, drug and alcohol and WHS policies, training and terms of payment.

In subsequent Annual Work Programs (the second and third programs), the Tribunal has continued its inquiry into the long distance and supermarket supply chain sectors, with a view to implementing minimum cartage rates for contractor drivers into the current RSRO.

In early 2015, the Tribunal commissioned KPMG to conduct a study into contractor operating costs for the purposes of developing an appropriate rate/cost model which could be used as the basis of any enforceable rates. The KPMG study unfortunately contains a number of flaws in respect of some of the assumptions underpinning the rates (e.g. hours worked, kilometres travelled, etc.).

The Tribunal is now considering whether it should issue a Draft RSRO regarding ‘safe’ rates for contractor drivers operating in the long distance and supermarket supply chain sectors. Prior to deciding whether to make a draft RSRO, the Tribunal has allowed parties to make written submissions by 29 June 2015, with reply submissions due by 27 July 2015.

Following the receipt of the written submissions, the Tribunal will conduct hearings as necessary in the week commencing 24 August 2015.

On 29 June 2015, the NSW Business Chamber filed submissions on the KPMG study (through Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors), and will likely file further written submissions.

Following the release of any Draft RSRO, the Tribunal is required to consult with the industry before making the Order.

Businesses who engage contractor drivers to perform long distance or supermarket delivery work, and those businesses who participate in the supply chain (whether as a consignor, consignee or intermediary) should take note of these developments.

NSW Business Chamber Tel: 13 29 59 Fax: (02) 9956 8013