New rules apply from 1 July 2013 when contracting for State funded construction projects over $2 million. Additional requirements apply for building construction projects over $10 million and for road/rail/civil projects over $20 million. A failure to comply with these Guidelines may result in ineligibility for State funded construction projects.
The Guidelines set out rule that apply to your workplace agreements and arrangements. An industrial agreement or other arrangements will be in breach of the Guidelines if it:
(a) Is an unregistered written individual or collective agreement with any third party or parties (other than a common law agreement);
(b) Discriminates against independent contractors. For example, it contains clauses which increases sub contractor rates to equal that of employees of the head contractor;
(c) Requires certain workplace behaviours. For example, contractors and sub contractors cannot be pressured to make over-award payments, statutory right of entry rights cannot be modified, ratios of employees or one-in-all arrangements cannot be imposed, and no conditions on labour hire;
(d) Limits freedom of association. For example, providing the names of current or potential staff to unions, holding promotional events or similar practices that imply that union membership is anything other than a matter for individual choice, and encouraging or discouraging employees to join a union.
The Guidelines are not intended to require conduct that would contravene the Fair Work Act, any provision which does so is ineffective.
What to do
(a) Review all contracts, subcontracts, and supply agreements to require compliance with the Guidelines and to ensure access by Building Construction Code Branch officials to work and records;
(b) Review any industrial agreements or arrangements that affect your business to ensure compliance and seek advice if changes are needed; and
(c) Develop and implement a workplace relations management plan for use on larger projects.
Author: Scott Lambert
T: +61 7 3135 0681
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