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News / NEW CODE FOR BUILDING CONTRACTORS ON COMMONWEALTH FUNDED PROJECTS /  

NEW CODE FOR BUILDING CONTRACTORS ON COMMONWEALTH FUNDED PROJECTS

7 February 2013

 

From 1 February 2013 the Building Code 2013 outlines standards for all participants in Commonwealth funded construction projects.

If you are undertaking Commonwealth funded projects or submitting an expression of interest or a tender for a Commonwealth funded project the Building Code 2013 may apply to you and your construction workers.

If an expression of interest or tender for building work was called before 1 February 2013 the Building Code 2013 may also apply to you and your construction workers.

The Building Code 2013 covers a range of employment related issues including:

  • Unregistered written agreements
    Generally, agreements that are not intended to be certified or otherwise approved according to a designated building law are prohibited. Some exemptions exist including exemptions for employee health and wellbeing schemes, mentoring programs and programs to reduce bullying, sexual harassment or workplace discrimination.
  • Engagement of non-citizens or non-residents
    Building contractors must check the legality of each worker's right to work in Australia. This applies to employees and independent contractors. Building contractors must comply with visa sponsorship arrangements for workers who are not citizens of Australia.
  • Dispute settlement
    Enterprise agreements that are entered into after the commencement of the Building Code 2013 on 1 February 2013 must contain a "genuine dispute resolution procedure". 
  • Workplace health, safety and rehabilitation system
    Building contractors and other industry participants must establish a comprehensive and workplace specific Workplace Health, Safety and Rehabilitation System for the building work.
  • Security of payment
    Compliance with laws applying to the security of payment is mandatory to ensure the timely payment of all parties within a building contract chain.
  • Over-award payments and redundancy/superannuation schemes
    Building contractors must not coerce subcontractors or consultants to make over-award payments. Similarly, subcontractors and consultants must not be coerced into contributing to a particular redundancy or superannuation fund.
  • Prohibition on "sham contracting arrangements"
    Building contractors must not engage in sham contracting arrangements which are unlawful under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Unlawful sham contracting arrangements include misrepresenting an employment arrangement as an independent contractual arrangements and dismissing an employee to engage the person as an independent contractor performing substantially the same work.

The Building Code covers a range of employment related issues and it specifies:

  • matters that must be included in an enterprise agreement; and
  • workplace practices and arrangements that must be carried out in relation to building work.

 

The Building Code was issued under the Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012 and it is designed to outline the standards for all participants in Commonwealth funded construction projects to "...promote fair, cooperative and productive workplace relations".

 

Contractual obligations

In addition to these employment related issues building contractors must:

  • ensure that they comply with the Building Code;
  • require compliance with the Building Code from all subcontractors;
  • ensure all contracts specifically require compliance with the Building Code; and
  • ensure all contracts allow Fair Work Building Industry Inspectors access to the building site, personnel and documents to monitor compliance with the Building Code.

 

For more information contact:

Tracey Jessie | Partner
Mullins Lawyers
t +61 7 3224 0390
f +61 7 3224 0333
tjessie@mullinslaw.com.au

 

 

 

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