The RSR Bill, in its current form, sets a new standard of regulation for road transport drivers, particularly those who are independent contractors. The introduction of RSROs and SRAs are clearly intended to create a safety net scheme of regulation for these road transport drivers, and effectively creates a ‘third class’ of worker, who will be entitled to a similar safety net system as an employee under the FW Act, yet for all other purposes (i.e. taxation, superannuation or workers’ compensation) may continue to be treated as an independent contractor.
There are also important implications for road transport drivers who are employees. In addition to providing these employees with a guarantee that his or her relevant industrial instrument (i.e. modern award, enterprise agreement or transitional instrument) will not be less beneficial than a defined enforceable instrument under the RSR Bill (i.e. a RSRO, a SRA or a Tribunal order made through arbitration), the RSR Bill will also provide the right for employees to seek dispute resolution with all participants in the supply chain, and not just his or her employer.
The RSR Bill and the Road Safety Remuneration (Consequential Amendments and Related Provisions) Bill 2011 were referred to the Infrastructure and Communications Committee on 24 November 2011 for further consideration. Both Bills have a proposed commencement date of 1 July 2012.