Stop government construction work. Tools down if there’s no EA

Employers that don’t have enterprise agreements which comply with the Code for Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Tendering Code) will now miss out on federally-funded work, after news laws were passed by the Senate late last night.

In a change led by cross-bench Senator Derryn Hinch, the passage of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Amendment Bill 2017 (Cth) means that prior transitional rules relating to enterprise agreements under the Tendering Code have been abolished. Firms with non-compliant enterprise agreements will be able to tender for Commonwealth-funded work (up until 1 September 2017) but will now be excluded from being awarded any contracts – until their enterprise agreement complies with the Tendering Code.

Firms with non-compliant enterprise agreements must immediately commence negotiations to achieve compliance, or else miss out on Commonwealth work.

Under the Tendering Code, enterprise agreements must not impose limitations on how an employer deploys labour or contain terms which otherwise prevent improvements in productivity. For example, the following provisions typically found in pattern ACT CFMEU enterprise agreements are prohibited:

  • mandatory scheduling of rostered days off around public holidays (so-called ‘lock-down’ weekends);
  • the capacity for the CFMEU to hold paid meetings with employees for any reason; and
  • requirements that subcontractors pay their employees the same terms and conditions found in a head contractor’s enterprise agreement.

Meyer Vandenberg has assisted multiple employers in the ACT region in negotiating Tendering Code compliant enterprise agreements.

Please contact our Employment, Workplace Relations and Safety Team for more information.

Will Ward Special — Counsel — Employment Workplace Relations and Safety
(02) 6279 4366

John Nikolic — Associate — Industrial Relations
(02) 6279 4317