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Tough new laws for hirers and freight brokers: Fines up to $16,522

broker fines

Amended regulations come into play in Victoria from March 1 that make hirers and freight brokers responsible for keeping records to help prove they are meeting their obligations when dealing with contractors.

The maximum penalty for non-compliance is $16,522 in the case of a body corporate, or $9,913.20 in any other case.

The amended regulations also enable Wage Inspectorate Authorised Officers to issue on-the-spot fines for certain offences. The maximum fines for each offence will be $165.22 for an individual and $826.10 for a body corporate.

The Victorian Government said that records must include details about the contractor and their engagement by a hirer or freight broker (including whether the hirer terminated the engagement), and evidence that the contractor received the industry handbook and rates and cost schedules that must be given to them before engagement.

“Most hirers and freight brokers already keep these records in some way, and the regulations do not require a specific record-keeping method, so that means electronic or paper records are fine,” said a statement.

Obligations for Hirers under the Act include that they must give tip truck owner drivers working in the building and construction industry (regardless of how long they will be engaged for):

  • a copy of the owner driver information booklet at least 3 business days before the tip truck driver is first engaged. Unless the booklet is revised, it does not need to be provided for subsequent engagements with the same hirer.
  • a copy of the relevant rates and costs schedule at least 3 business days before the tip truck driver is first engaged. Unless the handbook is revised, it does not need to be provided for subsequent engagements with the same hirer if the interval between engagements does not exceed 12 months.

If the contractor is engaged through a freight broker, then the freight broker must provide the relevant rates and costs schedule and information booklet instead.

For more information about the new rules for hirers, click here; for freight brokers go here.

The Wage Inspectorate is also available for more information or to answer questions:

Advisory rates and costs schedules set out the typical costs of running an owner-driver business based on the type of vehicle a driver operates. The schedules for general freight vehicles have been updated for 2021, and are available on the Business Victoria website.

To meet their obligations, hirers and freight brokers should ensure they give contractors copies of the most up-to-date rates and costs schedules.

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