What happens if my owner driver and forestry contract dispute is not resolved at mediation?

For disputes under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005, if mediation at the VSBC is unable to resolve the dispute, a certificate can be issued to enable a party to proceed to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a determination to be made.

The VSBC can also certify that a party has refused to participate in the mediation or alternative dispute resolution process and this may have cost implications at VCAT for the party that refuses to participate.  More information can be found here.

How do I apply for waiver certificate for the minimum period of notice of termination?

Under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005  owner drivers and forestry contractors who have been in an ongoing engagement for more than three months are entitled to a minimum period of notice of termination of their contracts (except in cases of serious and willful misconduct). The period of notice may be worked out, or paid in lieu.

The minimum period required to be given by either party to terminate a contract is:

  • Three months' notice for vehicles in excess of 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass;
  • One month's notice for other vehicles.

If this notice requirement does not suit the owner driver or forestry contractor, the requirement can be waived by the owner driver or forestry contractor obtaining a certificate from the VSBC.

To apply for waiver, download the Waiver Request Form.

What does the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 cover?

The Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 provides basic protections for small business owner drivers, forestry contractors and haulage contractors and a framework for the effective resolution of commercial disputes between these contractors and their hirers, and vice versa.

The legislation outlines provisions concerning owner drivers, forestry contractors, haulage contractors and hirers in Victoria. Together with the legislation, there is also:

  • an Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Code of Practice;
  • an Information Booklets for contractors;
  • Rates and Costs Schedules for contractors;
  • Model Contracts (developed by the Transport Industry Council and the Forestry Industry Council).

These documents, and more information about the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005, can be found by referring to the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

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