Parliament should pass the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 with amendments, the ATA submission to the Senate Education and Employment Committee inquiry into the bill says.
The submission argues that the Fair Work Commission should not be able to set minimum freight rates or, alternatively, its power to set rates should be limited to orders requiring the separate billing of prescribed recoverable costs.
If these recommendations are not adopted, the commission should be able to set minimum freight rates through the entire contractual chain. The ATA considers this would be justified to protect regulated road transport contractors from unregulated competition and as an anti-avoidance measure.
The submission also recommends that—
- the placeholders in the bill about contractual chain orders and merits review should be expanded so the detail is in the bill itself and not left open to the Government to regulate later
- the membership of the planned Road Transport Advisory Group should be broader, as should the list of bodies that can make applications to the Fair Work Commission
- the regulations must be able to set more than one contractor high income threshold, because owner drivers face higher costs.