Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell is calling on owner-truck drivers impacted by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s (RSRT) Payments Order, to come forward and share their experience.
Ms Carnell said the ASBFEO is gathering testimonials from owner-operators as part of the office’s inquiry into the effect the Payments Order has had on small businesses across the country.
“We want to consult as broadly as possible to make sure we get an accurate picture of the overall impact of the Payments Order, including the experiences owner-drivers had in dealing with the Tribunal,” Ms Carnell said.
“As well as accepting online testimonials, we will also be holding public consultations around the country to hear first-hand accounts from owner-operators about their circumstances before, during and after the Payments Order was in place,” she said.
Ms Carnell said preliminary investigations – including a roundtable with representatives from peak industry groups – reveal many owner-operators continue to face significant financial hardship in the aftermath of the Order, with some unable to find work.
“It’s apparent there are owner-operators out there who are struggling to get back on their feet, partly because previous employers are reluctant to hire those small business drivers again,” Ms Carnell said.
Ms Carnell is urging businesses who have used owner-drivers in the past, to consider doing so once again.
“All we ask is that larger companies consider contracting owner-drivers wherever possible during this period, as they attempt to recoup their lost revenue and get their business back up and running,” Ms Carnell said.
“This will not only help ensure the long-term viability of small business owner-drivers in Australia, but fundamentally it will help ensure the entire road transport sector continues to remain competitive going forward,” she said.
Those wishing to contribute to the inquiry can do so at: www.asbfeo.gov.au/consultation Dates for the public consultations will also be posted on the website.