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Campaign highlights Victoria’s owner driver laws

Wage Inspectorate Victoria has launched a new campaign aimed at reminding the state’s transport industry of its obligations under Victoria’s owner driver and forestry contractor laws.

The campaign reminds hirers and freight brokers of their obligation to provide the information booklet about owner driver laws, the schedule of rates and a written contract to any owner drivers or forestry contractors they engage.

Wage Inspectorate Victoria says that recent compliance checks found many hirers failing to comply with these three obligations, which exist under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.

“This campaign focuses on the three most common compliance problems we’ve observed over the past 12 months. Compliance with these rules is straightforward, which leads us to believe some hirers and freight brokers may not be fully aware of their obligations,” said Commissioner of Wage Inspectorate Victoria, Robert Hortle.

These requirements apply to engagements of 30 days or more in any three-month period, and hirers and freight brokers must keep records to prove they are meeting them.

The campaign also alerts drivers that they should be receiving the information booklet, schedule of rates and a written contract at least three business days before work starts.

The Wage Inspectorate is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with Victoria’s owner driver laws and conducts regular compliance checks.

“These laws make contracting fairer by giving drivers the information they need to make informed decisions about their work – for example, the schedule of rates helps drivers decide if they’re likely to make a profit on a job, before they accept the work,” said Hortle.

Failing to comply with some requirements can attract penalties of over $4500 for companies and over $900 for individuals.

The body points to research that shows over 50 per cent of those covered by Victoria’s owner driver laws speak a language other than English at home. Campaign information has been translated into eight different languages to help reach Victoria’s multicultural communities.

“Hirers and freight brokers can access all the information they need, including a model written contract, from our website. We encourage anyone with further questions to contact us, either via our website or by calling our helpline,” added Hortle.

For further information, visit wageinspectorate.vic.gov.au or call the Wage Inspectorate’s helpline on 1800 287 287. Interpreting services are also available.

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