New Road Transport work laws
THE Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation rolled into town yesterday to explain the new Fair Work laws affecting all employers in the trucking, bus and coach industries.
Industrial officer Travis Degen took local employers through the key elements of the changes.
“At the end of the day everyone will now be under the one Federal system of national employment standards with minimum terms and conditions for all employers,” he said.
The changes are part of the national employment standards and award modernisation process discussed at the Council of Australian Governments meetings, and another stage of the Rudd Government’s dismantling of the previous government’s Work Choices laws.
The amendments return many rights to workers that were removed under Work Choices including 10 minimum standards replacing the previous five, new unfair dismissal and redundancy rules, and rights for making collective agreements, protected industrial action and right of entry to workplaces for union officials.
According to Mr Degen, the new unfair dismissal and redundancy laws will be most welcomed by workers concerned about job security in the current economic climate.
“This removes a lot of the hurdles placed in front of employees to make a claim. Termination should be a process. You can’t say ‘don’t come Monday’ any more, it’s about managing performance and ensuring natural justice.”
Bob and Robyn Shackell, from Shackell Transport in Pottsville, were comfortable with the new laws and didn’t see them affecting their business a great deal.
“Anyone who’s up to speed with the current regulations shouldn’t have a problem with the changes,” Mr Shackell said.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of difference from what we’ve been doing and these laws are moving in the right direction, particularly in terms of the uniformity and the simplifications.”
NSW has passed legislation referring the State’s industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth enabling a national system of industrial relations commencing January 1, 2010. All employers, whether proprietary companies, partnerships or sole traders, will now operate under the Commonwealth Fair Work Act.