Skip to content


Using written contracts

When your engagements should be set out in writing

On this page

  • Written contract information
  • Model contracts

Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005

The Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 provides that certain engagements must be in writing.

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.

Reduce uncertainty with written contracts

Written contracts, especially for long-term arrangements, are good business practice. They help reduce disputes and uncertainty. Written contracts do not have to be long, or complex and legalistic. It is a good idea to set out in writing the most important aspects of your arrangements.

Some types of engagements require written contracts

The Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 provides that ongoing engagements of no fixed duration or for a period of 30 days or more must be in writing.

The written contracts must set out:

*          the rates to be paid to the contractor

  • the guaranteed minimum hours of work or income level that the contractor will receive

*          the minimum amount of notice to terminate the contract or payment in lieu of notice

From 1 May 2020, hirers and freight brokers may face penalties if they fail to meet these obligations.

Model contract

To assist forestry contractors and hirers, a model contract has been developed. It is not compulsory to use the model contract. But it might be useful as guidance on standard contract terms. Or you could use the model contract but vary certain terms to suit your business needs.

It is in two parts. The second part is the schedule to the contract, which both parties must fill in. The schedule sets out the agreed rates and a range of other matters.

Model Contract and Schedule

Model Contract for Owner Drivers (DOC 113 KB)DOC icon

Model Contract for Owner Drivers (PDF 112.09 KB)PDF icon

Model Contract for Owner Drivers Schedule (DOC 185.5 KB)DOC icon

Model Contract for Owner Drivers Schedule (PDF 225.91 KB)PDF icon

Access to dispute resolution

Under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005, hirers and contractors can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission to arrange fast and low-cost alternative dispute resolution if disagreements arise. The dispute resolution process can be used for disputes arising under or in relation to the Act, Code of Practice or in relation to a contractor or a hirer.

Disputes that are not resolved by the Small Business Commission may be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for determination.

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.