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Protection of Trucking Businesses

Protection of Trucking Businesses

NatRoad has called for protection of trucking businesses and employees following the discussion paper on termination codes from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024 introduces new protections for regulated road transport contractors against unfair termination, a move NatRoad strongly supports.

NatRoad’s stance is any industry termination code must protect the interests of truck operators and the broader community, due to the integral presence of the trucking industry in national supply chains.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says the current shortage of skilled truck drivers has necessitated the need to improve the industry’s termination code.

“We are already dealing with a truck driver shortage, and so if our operators are not able to be confident regarding the future of their contracts, this issue will only get worse,” he says.

“That’s why we want to emphasise the importance of a practical and effective Termination Code that balances the rights and obligations of road transport businesses and their contractors and sub-contractors.”

“Truck operators are highly skilled professionals who form an essential part of the nation’s supply chain. The proposed Termination Code must reflect the operational realities of the road transport industry, ensuring flexibility and fairness while protecting drivers.

“We are calling for assurance that the Termination Code will protect truck operators through fair practices, providing them with the security necessary to allow them to confidently invest and grow their businesses.”

The key points of NatRoad’s submission are as follows:

Protection against unfair termination:

  • Establishing clear criteria to differentiate between regular, systematic engagements and irregular or sporadic engagements.
  • Ensuring that terminations are based on valid reasons such as conduct-related breaches, capacity-related issues, or genuine commercial reasons.

Secure investments:

  • Recognising the significant investments made by truck operators in their vehicles and equipment.
  • Providing appropriate notice periods and flexibility in termination processes to reflect the nature of the industry and protect operators from abrupt contract terminations, therefore keeping them on the road where they are needed.

Fair commercial practices:

  • Developing a termination code that supports the unique structure and operational dynamics of the road transport industry.
  • Ensuring that contracts are reliable and that operators can confidently invest in their businesses.

 

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