Many trucking operators have serious concerns about the legal compliance of trucking industry contracts, as well as payment terms and other provisions that require them to accept risks that should belong to customers.
The ATA has listened to those concerns, and is taking action to provide information to the members of ATA associations.
Contract checklist and masterclass
In June 2016, the ATA published a checklist to help trucking businesses work through the detail of contracts. The checklist covered:
- the Heavy Vehicle National Law and WA chain of responsibility contract requirements
- unfair terms in standard form contracts
- liability for consequential loss, payments terms and more.
The ATA launched the checklist at a trucking industry contracts masterclass at Trucking Australia 2016.
The full version of the contract checklist will be made available exclusively to members of ATA member associations shortly.
Road Safety Remuneration Orders
Following the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, the Road Safety Remuneration Orders are now no longer in force.
Contact your ATA member association for more information.
Chain of responsibility compliance
Under the HVNL, contracts must not:
- provide incentives to speed or breach fatigue laws
- contain provisions that seek to annul, restrict or change the application of any HVNL provision
- require one party to reimburse another for any penalties it is ordered to pay under the HVNL.
Under the WA provisions, contracts must not:
- seek to exclude, limit or modify the operation of any road laws
- threaten, intimidate, coerce, induce or offer an incentive to another person to commit an offence in relation to mass, dimension, loading or restraint.
Unfair contract terms protections
From 12 November 2016, the Australian Consumer Law, administered by the ACCC, will protect small businesses from unfair terms in standard form contracts.
Although there are exceptions, the protections will apply if:
- one party to the standard form contract employs fewer than 20 people; and
- the contract is for an upfront price of $300,000 or less; or
- the contract is for a duration of more than 12 months and the upfront price is $1,000,000 or less.
The protections will not apply to terms that define the main subject of a contract or that set the upfront price.
The ACCC has published general guidance information on the unfair contract terms provisions.
The ATA will publish trucking industry specific information through its member associations later in 2016. The information will only be available to members of ATA member associations.
This information is not a substitute for legal advice and you should seek your own independent legal and business advice if you have concerns about contract issues. The information provided is intended to be used as a guide only and may not apply to your business circumstances.