The end of financial year marks the cut-off date for a number of accounting, financial and compliance obligations  for us all.  It is also marks the first two months’ operation of the first Road Safety Remuneration Order, the ‘Road  Transport and Distribution and Long Distance Operations Road Safety Remuneration Order 2014’  (RSRO).The  RSRO came into effect on 1 May 2014 after being handed down by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal on 17  December 2013.  Following a 4.5 month lead-in period and 2 months of implementation, it’s time to review if you  are complying. 

The RSRO applies to drivers engaged in:

  1. the road transport and distribution industry within the meaning of the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 providing a service in relation to goods, wares, merchandise, material or anything destined for sale or hire by a supermarket chain; and
  1. long distance operations in the private transport industry within the meaning of the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010.

As an employer, what must you do? We review the requirements.

  1. Provide drivers commencing employment on or after 1 May 2014 with written contracts

The written contract must include:

  • The names and contact details of the parties.
  • The nature of the service to be provided by the driver.
  • The nature of the legal relationship between the parties.
  • The period of the contract.
  • Any modern award, enterprise agreement or other industrial instrument that covers or applies to the driver.
  • The remuneration to be paid to the driver, including any wage rate or kilometre rate or other piece rate.
  • Any guaranteed minimum income or minimum number of hours of work (if applicable).
  • A mechanism for at least annual review of remuneration.
  • A mechanism for adjustment of remuneration (if agreed).
  • Details of any deductions or payments that the employer can seek from the driver.
  • A process for the driver to provide a copy of their driver history report from the Department of Transport and Main Roads to the employer annually.
  • A requirement that the driver notify the employer immediately of any suspension or cancellation of their driving licence.
  • A notice of termination clause containing the relevant notice period and the circumstances in which the contract may be terminated without notice (and a requirement that notice be given in writing).
  •  A clause providing that the employer will not direct the driver to commit any unlawful act
  1. Keep copies of the written contracts for 7 years

Copies of all written contracts must be kept for seven years from the termination of the contract.

  1. Provide work health and safety training

Employers are required to take ‘all reasonable measures’ to ensure drivers are trained in work health and safety (WHS) systems and procedures relevant to the road transport service provided by the driver.

If you have an existing WHS training programs you should review your programs to ensure they are up-to- date and cover all relevant regulations. You should also ensure the training material is relevant to your employed drivers.

If you do not have a WHS training program one needs to be implemented.

  1. Prepare and implement a written Drug and Alcohol Policy

An employer must prepare and implement a written Drug and Alcohol Policy (Policy) applying to its drivers. As far as reasonably practical, the drivers must be consulted in the preparation of the Policy.

The Policy must:

  • Prohibit the use, consumption, possession, manufacture, sale, purchase or transfer of prescription and pharmacy drugs, alcohol while on the employer’s sites or while providing a road transport service.
  • Include a process for the driver to notify the employer of drug and alcohol dependency or a work related situation conducive to or involving drug and alcohol abuse and require and investigation.
  • Specify drug and blood alcohol content levels that will constitute a breach of the Policy.
  • Provide a transparent system of mandatory drug and blood alcohol content testing.
  • Specify the procedure that will apply if a breach is recorded on testing.
  • Set out the repercussions for a breach of the Policy which may include education and/or rehabilitation and disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
  1. Provide training on the Drug and Alcohol Policy

You must take all reasonable measures to ensure a driver is trained in the Policy.

  1. Prepare a written Safe Driving Plan

A Safe Driving Plan (Plan) must be written for a driver undertaking long distance operation using a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle mass of more than 4.5 tonnes.

The Plan must:

  • be reviewed regularly and updated when there is any change in the circumstances applicable to the long distance driving or the transport service or when safety issues warrant a review and update;
  • be prepared and implemented and reviewed and updated in consultation with the drivers;
  • be provided to the driver on each occasion the transport service is provided;
  • state the name and address of the employer;
  • state the known participants in the supply chain;
  • state the period covered by the Plan;
  • state all pick up and delivery locations in relation to the transport service;
  • provide for the driver to record the vehicle registration number and the make and model of the vehicles used in the transport service covered by the Plan;
  • provide for the driver to record the type of fatigue risk management system they are operating under;
  • provide for the driver to declare pre-departure whether she/she:
    • has a current driver’s licence for the class of vehicle;
    • is fit to provide the transport service;
    • has received the employer’s WHS training;
    • has inspected the vehicles and rectified or had rectified any defects likely to affect the safe operation of the vehicles;
  • include a travel plan detailing anticipated timeframes and distances for each leg, meal breaks, rest breaks and crib breaks;
  • identify potential risks including those from fatigue, vehicle fitness, speed, communication, fauna, vegetation weather and visibility and how to lessen the risk;
  • include instructions on how the driver is to inform the employer of any circumstances which make compliance with the Plan impracticable;
  • include instructions on how the driver is to manage their fatigue and allow for amendment of the Plan if required;
  • provide for the driver to sign a declaration at the completed Plan at the conclusion of each occasion of the transport service that the information provided in the Plan is true and correct;
  • include instructions that the driver is to return the completed Plan within 48 hours or as soon as practicable.
  1. Review completed Safe Driving Plans

Completed safe driving plans must be reviewed by the Employer regularly to identify any safety issues and opportunities for improvement.

  1. Keep records of Safe Driving Plans for 7 years

An employer must make a completed safe driving plan and any associated records available to the driver on request.

Have you complied?