The situation: An owner driver's contract was terminated by the hirer on the grounds of breach of contract and serious and willful misconduct. The owner driver is seeking a claim for damages, compensation and the reinstatement of the contract.
The VSBC: The owner driver put forth an application for dispute resolution with the VSBC regarding the contract he had entered into with the hirer in 2010. At the mediation, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) represented the owner driver, while the hirer had legal representation.
The resolution: The outcome of the mediation was successful, with the parties agreeing to settle and resolve the dispute. The hirer was to re-contract the owner driver with certain terms, in particular that a satisfactory driver safety assessment was completed prior to the driver recommencing work, and strict compliance with the hirer's OH&S policy.
The hirer was also to provide the owner driver with the same regional run upon completion of the safety assessment with a metro run to be added when available. The hirer confirmed its intent to give notice to all contractors of the importance of its OH&S policy as an integral element of all owner driver contracts.
In addition to sorting out the individual dispute, the outcome also served to assist the hirer in reinforcing with all of its contracted drivers the importance of complying with OH&S obligations.