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- Rates and costs schedules
Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005
The Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 aims to improve the position of owner drivers and forestry contractors who run small businesses transporting goods or harvesting forestry products.
The Act provides owner drivers and forestry contractors with some protections when they contract out their services. It requires that they are provided with certain information to assist in running a successful business. It also sets out a framework for resolving disputes.
Hirers and freight brokers in the transport and forestry industries have legal obligations under this Act, which was amended on 1 May 2020. It is important that they fully understand these obligations.
Understanding business costs
Our rates and costs schedules set out the typical costs of running a forestry contractor business based on the type of vehicle or forestry equipment being used. They include variable costs, such as fuel and tyres, and fixed costs such as registration, finance and insurance.
Forestry contractors can use the schedule to get a better understanding of:
- the factors that affect operating costs
- the amount they could expect to earn as an employee doing the same kind of work.
Rates and cost schedules do not set minimum rates of pay. They aim to help forestry contractors and hirers better understand the typical operating costs of a forestry contractor business.
Forestry contractors and hirers can use the schedules to assess whether an offer of work will:
- cover operating costs
- provide a good return for the contractor’s labour
- provide a good return on the contractor’s investment.
Hirer obligations to provide schedules
Hirers that engage a forestry contractor for 30 days or more must make sure they give the contractor the rates and cost schedule that relates to their vehicle or forestry equipment.
The relevant schedule must be given:
- at least three business days before the contractor is engaged, if the contract is for a period of at least 30 days; or
- on the 30th day, if the forestry contractor is engaged for a total period of at least 30 days in any three-month period.
This obligation does not apply if a hirer engages the contractor through a freight broker.
From 1 May 2020, hirers may face penalties if they fail to meet these obligations. Learn more about your legal obligations under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.
Rates and costs schedules
Wage Inspectorate Victoria
Wage Inspectorate Victoria is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.
If you have any questions, Wage Inspectorate Victoria is available to provide information and answer queries. Please call the Information Line on 1800 287 287 or email.