ABCC to be dismantled and powers transferred
The Federal government is following up on its election promise to abolish the building industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), by introducing legislation that is expected to receive sufficient support to be enacted through parliament.
The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 (the Bill) includes amendments seeking to transfer the ABCC’s enforcement role and powers in the building and construction industry to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) in its entirety, with an effective date of 10 November 2022.
The matters that can be subject to investigation as covered under the Fair Work Act 2009, which will transfer from the ABCC to the FWO, include:
Wages and entitlements;
Right of Entry;
General protections, including freedom of association;
Sham contracting; and
The ABCC continued to provide advice and assistance until the transfer date of 10 November 2022.
In a recent media release, Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke noted that the federal budget provides “$69.9 million over four years to the Fair Work Ombudsman to regulate workplace laws in the building and construction industry, following the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)”,
Unsurprisingly, employer groups operating in the building and construction industry have condemned the government’s legislation.
Master Builders Australia Chief Executive Officer Denita Wawn stated,
“The abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission will only make things worse and exacerbate the adverse impacts for construction industry workplaces … It makes no sense to create laws with exclusions for unions who break workplace laws, when those very same laws abolish the only workplace regulator that can effectively hold unions to account for breaking workplace laws”.
For queries about the ABCC, the FWO, dealing with union activity, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 0417 622 178, 1300 925 529 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.