Our article last month referred to the recently created Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal ("RSRT") issuing a statement seeking written submissions on matters that should be included in its Annual Work Program.

The deadline for initial submissions has passed. Submissions were received from individuals and organisations, such as unions and employer associations.

In last month's article, we told you we would monitor these submissions so here are some of the key proposals which interested parties believe the RSRT should identify in its Annual Work Program:

  • issues and practices within the retail sector, and specifically the supermarket subsector, including low rates of pay, inappropriate or illegal methods of payment, unsafe deadlines, timeslot restrictions and penalties, unpaid waiting and loading times at distribution centres, and the incidence of payments to small supply chain operators that are insufficient to ensure safe rates are paid to employee drivers and owner drivers;
  • the impact of "insecure workers" (contractors and labour hire casual workers) on remuneration-related incentives and pressures that contribute to unsafe work practices;
  • compliance with relevant road transport awards by participants in the road transport industry;
  • the use of telematics technology (e.g. GPS) as a method of monitoring driving and improving safety;
  • the effect of unpaid hours and artificially low kilometre and basic pay rates;
  • the provision of tender documents that do not reflect realistic commercial and operational practices;
  • the pressures for discounting freight rates with little alignment to recognised costing models; and
  • an objective assessment of the costs of undertaking freight tasks.

These submissions will form the basis of the Annual Work Program of RSRT over the next year. It is important for employers, principal contractors and consignors to consider making submissions in response to the initial submissions which may result in the creation of Road Safety Remuneration Orders.

Any submissions in reply from interested parties should be submitted to the RSRT by 4.00pm AEST on Tuesday, 16 October 2012.