Victorian regional road transport campaign results

12 September 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the findings of a road transport campaign conducted throughout regional Victoria.

The Victoria-wide campaign was conducted in response to more than 200 complaints from the road freight transport industry in Victoria in 2010.

The industry generated the second highest number of complaints after cafes/restaurants.

Key stakeholders, including the Victorian Transport Association, Livestock Transport Association and Transport Workers Union, were advised of the campaign.

And more than 500 regional transport employers from Horsham to Bairnsdale and Warrnambool to Mildura were contacted to advise them about changes to workplace relations laws and the free services provided by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Businesses randomly selected for auditing included livestock transport, removal companies, interstate and internal transport operators, freight and refrigerated transport firms.

In September 2010, Fair Work inspectors reviewed the employment records of 32 employers to assess their compliance with workplace laws and found 27 (84 per cent) with contraventions.

A follow-up audit of the 27 businesses in June, 2011, identified that 18 (67 per cent) still had contraventions, including incorrect payments for overtime, meal allowances, penalty and public holiday rates and incomplete record-keeping.

The campaign has recovered a total of $98,159, with individual employers paying between $676 and $39,736 in outstanding employee entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said the aim of the campaign was to provide education and direct advice to employers about their obligations.

“Over the years, we have received a large number of complaints from the transport industry, and it is concerning that this trend is continuing,” he said.

The report reveals that some of those complaints have been lodged confidentially as country workers sometimes are reluctant to come forward for fear of reprisal.

“There are many trainee and apprentice drivers and employees working across this sector, and we want to ensure they are receiving their lawful minimum entitlements,” Mr Wilson said.

Commenting on the findings, Mr Wilson said: “As with many other sectors, contraventions are often inadvertent, which is why we are strongly focused on providing advice and access to practical resources like online pay and leave calculators.”

However, he foreshadowed a possible national targeted campaign for the transport industry in the second half of 2013.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or information can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheckPlus and an Award Finder, to assist business owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees.

PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rate of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the transport sector.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Employers can also sign up to a regular e-newsletter with helpful tips and information on employment practices.

A copy of the 2010-2011 Victorian Regional Transport Industry Campaign Final Report is available on the website.

Victorian Regional Transport Campaign Report (PDF 408.2KB)
Victorian Regional Transport Campaign Report (RTF 603.4KB)

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
Penelope.Rowe@fwo.gov.au

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