Road transport industries in spotlight: fair pay

By: Chris Smith


School buses, tourist coaches, charter lines and public transport services around the country will be randomly audited by the Workplace

School buses, tourist coaches, charter lines and public transport services around the country will be randomly audited by the Workplace Ombudsman to ensure drivers are being paid correctly.

Couriers, furniture removalists, taxi trucks, long-distance truckies and office workers are also in the sights of the federal Workplace Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson.

Wilson says his office has identified road transport industries to be at "high risk" of not complying with the Workplace Relations Act.

As a first step, letters have been sent to more than 9500 businesses across the country to help educate employers.

Over three months from August to October, up to 700 will be randomly selected for comprehensive audits.

"With this targeted national campaign, we aim to ensure workers are receiving their minimum wages and entitlements," Wilson says.

Each state will focus on different sectors, including:
  • Short distance road freight – Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Queensland and metropolitan NSW
  • Long distance haulage - South Australia, Tasmania and regional NSW
  • Buses - charter, school, tourist and public transport in Victoria and Tasmania, and
  • Office workers.


"The road transport industry has a significant number of vulnerable workers, such as those on traineeships and apprenticeships," Wilson says.

"We have received a significant number of claims and requests for information, so it is appropriate that we take this action."

Transport and storage industries currently rank sixth on the Workplace Ombudsman’s list of industries with the highest levels of compliance problems, with 2535 claims over the past two years.

Among other things, inspectors will check minimum rates, minimum shifts, split shift provisions and allowances, payslips and time sheets.

Wilson flagged that follow-up audits could be initiated 12 months after the initial campaign to ensure long-term compliance.

So far this financial year, the Workplace Ombudsman has received 18,242 workplace claims, started 4598 targeted investigations and recovered more than $25 million for 21,721 employees.

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