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ABCC - Industrial Rallies and Enterprise Agreement Clauses

Posted on : Friday, 10 March 2017

Recent developments in the Building and Construction Industry have seen the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) release a number of Alerts.

 

One of these Alerts may also be a good reminder for any future and similar activities, concerned industrial rallies.  Some of these rallies occurred yesterday (9 March) across Australia with anticipated rallies in Western Australia on 21st March, and were in connection with and included protests against the recent Penalty Rates decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

 

The ABCC sought to remind building industry participants covered by the 2013 and 2016 Building Codes that the Codes include obligations to report industrial action as soon as practicable after the action occurs.

 

The ABCC did not express a view on whether or not building workers attend the rallies other than to remind all building industry participants of the requirements of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016

 

Subsection 7(2) of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 provides that where an employee fails to attend work or absents themselves from work, that absence is not industrial action if it has been authorised or agreed to by their employer in advance and in writing.  A failure to obtain authorisation or agreement for a stoppage of work in advance and in writing may constitute industrial action

 

The next Alert is an ABCC Guidance Material release designed to assist participants to consider whether their Enterprise Agreements are compliant with the Building Code 2016.

 

The guidance is in the form of a spreadsheet detailing the ABCC's advice on the compliance of approximately 500 clauses from agreements that have been submitted by industry to the ABCC or the Department of Employment.  The spreadsheet contains examples of both compliant and non-compliant clauses and will be added to on a regular basis. This is available from the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) CONNECT member website.

 

A new two-step process for contractors seeking advice on agreements asks industry to use this guidance material to conduct a preliminary review of their agreements prior to submitting them to the ABCC. The process also allows for advice to be provided on individual clauses that are not contained in the guidance material.

 

FPA Australia has already commenced this process for some of its members and can assist you with these processes.

 

Further information on these requirements is also outlined on the ABCC website at www.abcc.gov.au., or phone the ABCC Hotline on 1800 003 338 or email FPA Australia Workplace Relations at wr@fpaa.com.au.
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