Clarification for privately funded projects

22 February, 2017

Companies with enterprise agreements made before 2 December 2016 can breathe a sigh of relief after more tweaks were made to the construction code this week.

It follows from last week’s amendments to the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016, which was passed late last year re-establishing the ABCC and allowing for the establishment of a new building industry code, but raised uncertainty about the impact on existing projects.

While welcoming last week’s decision to shorten the transitional period for the operation of the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016, CCI’s Construction Services team identified some unintended consequences.

The proposed amendments to require enterprise agreements made prior to 2 December 2016 to be Code compliant to 31 August 2017 would have required a large number of businesses with agreements for existing privately funded projects to have varied their enterprise agreements, despite there being an exemption for existing federally funded projects.

After discussions with Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash’s office last week, CCI obtained a commitment from the Federal Government to address this anomaly, which has now been reflected in the revised Code.

It means a building contractor with an enterprise agreement made prior to 2 December 2016 does not need to vary the enterprise agreement if it doesn’t apply to any building work for which an expression of interest or tender was lodged after the commencement of the Code.

For businesses with project specific agreements this generally removes the need to renegotiate existing agreements for Code compliance.

Employers with agreement applying to multiple sites or projects will still need to review their agreement before 31 August to remain eligible for Code compliant work.

► For more information on the new transitional arrangements, or for assistance in ensuring enterprise agreements are Code compliant, call CCI on 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com.