There have been a number of developments in recent weeks that all transport and logistics operators with employees need to be aware of.
Introduction of new Modern Awards
As part of the completion of the four yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission has introduced the following new awards relevant to the transport and logistics industries:
- Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2020 (Long Distance Award);
- Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020 (Distribution Award); and
- Waste Management Award 2020 (Waste Management Award).
The key changes to the Long Distance Award and Distribution Award include:
- minor changes to classifications (both new awards have similar classification descriptions to complement each other);
- parts of the domestic violence leave clause have been removed as the subject is now dealt with in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act);
- a new Schedule has been added to the award to provide a Summary of Hourly Rates of Pay; and
- a new Schedule has been added to provide a Summary of Monetary Allowances.
The Distribution Award also includes the following changes:
- terms such as “time and a half” and “double time”, have been replaced with references to a percentage of a relevant rate; and
- the award includes definitions of “all purposes” and “ordinary hourly rate”, that are relevant when calculating penalties, loadings and annual leave payments.
The key changes to the Waste Management Award are as follows:
- a new clause giving certain casual employees the right to convert to permanent employment;
- a new Schedule has been added to provide a Summary of Hourly Rates of Pay;
- a new Schedule has been added to provide a Summary of Monetary Allowances;
- parts of the domestic violence leave clause have been removed;
- the award includes definitions of “all purposes” and “ordinary hourly rate”.
All three awards also include the temporary “Schedule X – Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic” (Schedule X). This sets out an entitlement to two weeks’ unpaid “pandemic leave” for employees who are required to self-isolate (but who are not entitled to take paid leave) and the ability to take annual leave at half pay. For employers who are eligible for the JobKeeper scheme, Schedule X is likely to be superseded by the JobKeeper amendments to the FW Act.
You can read about the JobKeeper scheme, changes to the FW Act, and the changes to modern awards to include a temporary Schedule X in response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.
The new awards are operative from the first full pay period that started on or after 4 May 2020.
Transport and logistics operators with administrative/clerical employees should also note that the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 is due to commence operation on 29 May 2020 and will replace the current Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010.
In April 2020, the Victorian Labour Hire Authority (Authority) announced that as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on labour hire providers, hosts and workers, it will permit labour hire providers to operate without a licence until 30 June 2020.
However, the Authority has stated that it will only refrain from taking any enforcement action against a provider for providing labour hire services without a licence, or a host who engages that provider, where a labour hire licence application is submitted to the Authority before midnight on 30 June 2020 and there is no evidence of non-compliance with workplace laws, including the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation and superannuation laws.
If you would like to discuss how these developments impact your business or assistance with managing your workforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact a member of our Workplace Relations Team or Transport & Logistics Team.
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