ABCC bill confusion; contractor payments calculator

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ABCC bill confusion; contractor payments calculator

The Greens have reportedly done a deal which will remove the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) bill as a trigger for a double dissolution election. Meanwhile, an online payments calculator is now available to assist participants in the road transport supply chain to calculate contractor driver minimum payments.

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The Greens have reportedly done a deal which will remove the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) bill as a trigger for a double dissolution election. Meanwhile, an online payments calculator is now available to assist participants in the road transport supply chain to calculate contractor driver minimum payments.

Will bill trigger double dissolution?


As the bill to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission is once more the subject of a Senate Committee inquiry, which heard submissions last Friday (4 March), the Greens have reportedly done a deal which will remove the bill as a trigger for a double dissolution election. 

The Education and Employment Legislation Committee will report on the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 [No. 2] and the Building and Construction Industry (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 [No. 2] by 15 March 2016. This was the third time it has considered the same bill.

In the meantime, the Greens reached a deal with the government to allow the additional time needed to drive through Senate voting reforms before federal parliament goes into recess. This would mean there would be no time for the Senate to consider the ABCC bills – which are one of the triggers the government has available to potentially call a double dissolution election. 

However, yesterday two senior federal government ministers contradicted each other on whether there has been any deal. Government Leader in the Senate, Senator George Brandis said on yesterday’s Sky News' Australian Agenda there “was no truth” in host Paul Kelly’s suggestion “that government has done a deal with the Greens to get Senate voting through, but not push the ABCC bill”.

However, he was contradicted later that morning by manager of Opposition Business in the Senate, Senator Mitch Fifield, who said on the ABC’s Insiders program:  “…if we want to make sure that we can get the electoral reform bill to a vote, we need to reach an agreement with the Greens for extra hours. The Greens have agreed to do that, but part of that arrangement is that we can only deal with the bills that they are comfortable with. So the ABCC will be dealt with in the sitting week after that.” 

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann previously told Sky News the bill was still on the government’s agenda and would be dealt with after Easter.

Labor’s Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor said the Greens should “tear up the Senate voting deal” if it doesn’t want the ABCC bills passed.

Online help for calculating contractor driver payments


An online payments calculator is now available to assist participants in the road transport supply chain to calculate contractor driver minimum payments.

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal has provided the calculator on its website to meet the requirements of the impending Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (2016 RSRO), which commences from 4 April 2016.

The 2016 RSRO sets national, legally enforceable, minimum payments for contractor drivers involved in:
  • the distribution of goods destined for sale or hire by a supermarket chain; or
  • long distance operations in the private road transport industry.
The order also includes clauses relating to:
  • unpaid leave
  • supply chain contracts
  • facilitative provisions
  • promotion of orders, and
  • dispute resolution.
In addition, the 2016 RSRO imposes requirements on the hirers of contractor drivers and participants in the supply chain.

The online payments calculator guides users through a step-by-step process to easily calculate the minimum payments under the 2016 RSRO and is compatible with mobile and tablet devices.

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