Wage Inspectorate Victoria enforces the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 (the ODFC Act).
Hirers, freight brokers and contractors in the transport and forestry industries have rights and responsibilities under this Act. This has been the case since the legislation first came into effect in 2005.
On 1 May 2020, changes to the ODFC Act came into force. Now, hirers and freight brokers may, for the first time, face penalties for failing to meet some of their obligations.
Working through the pandemic
We understand that, as we are in the middle of a global pandemic, this timing creates some challenges.
Given the pandemic, we appreciate how people in these industries have contributed. Their hard work has given Victorians access to vital commodities while they stay home and stay safe.
A moderate approach to enforcing the Act
The Wage Inspectorate will take a moderated and educative approach to enforcing the ODFC Act. This will occur over the next few months.
To help people in the industry meet their obligations, the Act will focus on providing:
- providing information, support, and guidance
- a more educative approach rather than taking legal action
How the Act helps businesses
It seeks to help small businesses who transport goods or harvest forestry products. The Act:
- requires certain information to be given to contractors before engagement
- prohibits unconscionable and unfair contract terms and practices
- mandates that contracts be set out in writing for ongoing or long-term engagements
- requires minimum periods of notice when terminating ongoing or long-term engagements
- provides dispute resolution through the Victorian Small Business Commission
The Inspectorate will engage hirers and freight brokers to discuss the Act and their obligations. Any non-compliance:
- won't initially be subject to litigation
- will be met with educative or enforcement outcomes like breach notices and/or official warning notices
Contact the Wage Inspectorate
Inspectorate Officers are available to provide information and answer queries:
Reviewed 15 February 2021