Changes to the Building and Construction Award
There are a number of changes for the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 (‘Building and Construction Award’) effective 1 July 2020. Employers ought to be aware of the changes and how they impact their business.
Several site and general wage related allowances will be removed and substituted by the introduction of a new Industry Allowance that compensates for various disabilities and conditions in distinct categories of construction industries.
Employees in the general building and construction industry, civil construction industry and metal and engineering construction industry, as defined, will be entitled to 6% of the weekly standard rate in addition to their minimum weekly rate of pay.
Employees in the residential building and construction industry will be entitled to 4.8% of the weekly standard rate in addition to their minimum weekly rate of pay. The residential building and construction industry means the work of the general building and construction industry where it is undertaken on a single occupancy or dual occupancy residential building that is not a multi-storey building.
The industry allowances remain all-purpose, which means they are compounded by penalties and loadings that may apply.
The conditions in respect of special rates currently found in cl 22.1 will apply specifically to the General Building and Construction Sector. All special rates will be in addition to the applicable industry allowance.
Living Away from Home – Distant Work
Employers will need to take reasonable steps to verify the address details provided by an employee for their usual place of residence for the purposes of qualification for LAHA. Reasonable steps will include requesting documentary proof of the address, such as a driver’s license.
Fares and Travel Patterns Allowance
The Fares and Travel Patterns allowance will be re-drafted so that its application is more easily understood by businesses. It will clarify that employees will be entitled to the Fares and Travel Pattern allowance where an employee starts and finishes work on a construction site or is required to perform prefabricated work in an open yard and then erect or fix on site. It will not be entitled to the allowance if the employer provides or offers to provide free transport from the employee’s home to the place of work and return or provides a fully maintained vehicle free of charge.
Employees who are required to transfer from one site to another will be entitled to payment for the travel time and, if no transport is provided, reasonable cost of fares for public transport or $0.78 per kilometre travelled in the employee’s own vehicle as applicable.
Any time spent travelling from an employee’s home to their job and return outside ordinary hours is unpaid unless the employer directs them to pick up and return other employees to their homes.
The new clause will also include a Distant Work Payment that applies when an employee must travel to a construction site that is not located in the metropolitan radial area in which their usual place of residence is located and is more than 50km by road from their usual place of residence. The Distant Work Payment will be in addition to the Fares and Travel Patterns allowance.
Ordinary Hours of Work and Rostered Days Off
Hours of Work clauses will be introduced to make it clear that the ordinary hours of work for casual and part-time employees will not exceed 8 hours per day. This makes it clear that overtime provisions will be triggered after 8 ordinary hours of work.
Employers and employees will have more flexibility to be able to agree on when RDOs are taken. Employers will be able to roster employee RDOs if a written roster is issued 7 days in advance of the 20-day RDO work cycle. Employees will continue to be able to bank RDOs up to 5 days at a time.
Employers can require an employee to work an RDO that is otherwise fixed in circumstances where there are unforeseen delays to a project or part of the project or for other reasons relating to unforeseen or emergency circumstances and can do so by agreement with the employee, otherwise they must provide at least 48 hours’ notice. An employee who works on that RDO will be entitled to Saturday penalty rates and will retain the RDO. Employers will no longer be prohibited from requesting part-time employees to work on an RDO.