The New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission has varied the General Carriers Contract Determination to revise the minimum rates of remuneration and to extend minimum rates obligations to additional geographic areas of New South Wales. These new rates obligations, together with various contractual obligations that were imposed in July 2016, will significantly affect transport operators who engage owner drivers to provide transport services in New South Wales.
As a result of an application by the Transport Workers’ Union, the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission has been involved in a long running review of the GCCD. The Commission handed down an initial decision in April 2016, varying the GCCD in relation to non-rate issues and publishing an interim determination, which commenced operation in July 2016.
On 15 March 2017, the Commission approved further changes to the GCCD, extending the geographical coverage of the minimum rates obligations and varying the applicable minimum rates of remuneration. On 5 May 2017, the new GCCD was published on the NSW Industrial Relations website: New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission Gazette.
The new GCCD came into force on 15 April 2017 but will only be enforced from 12 May 2017 (seven days after its publication, pursuant to section 318 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW)).
The GCCD is complex and contains various transitional provisions. The new rates structure will not come into full operation until 2023. A comprehensive bulletin discussing the full implications of the GCCD is available here.
What must you do now?
Any transport operator that engages owner drivers in New South Wales must:
- establish which of their contracts are, or will become, subject to the GCCD;
- review any contracts caught by the GCCD to ensure they comply with the GCCD; and
- become familiar with their obligations under the GCCD and ensure their work systems, policies and procedures are consistent with it.
If you have any questions in relation to your obligations, or would like assistance in complying with the GCCD, please contact Annie Smeaton on +61 7 3231 2946 or Gillian Bristow on +61 7 3231 2925.