Building and Construction Award
Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020
The Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020 is the pre-eminent Federal Award or Modern Award covering private-sector employees engaged in onsite building, engineering, and civil construction work. Typical classifications under the Building and Construction Award include tradespersons (carpenters, bricklayers, painters etc.), labourers, and civil construction workers.
Under the Building and Construction Award, employees must be classified as either daily hire, full-time or part-time weekly, or as casual. Daily hire means either party is only required to give one day to end the relationship. Part-time employees work less than an average of 38 hours per week, a maximum of 8 ordinary hours per day and have reasonably predictable hours of work agreed upon when they start part-time employment. Casual employees, who have a minimum engagement of 4 hours, are meant to be engaged to meet short-term, intermittent or irregular work demands.
It should also be noted that under the Building and Construction Award, daily hire employees have particular redundancy provisions that are unique to the industry and quite distinct from the normal legislative provisions. For example, under the Building and Construction Award, an employee with 12 months of service is entitled to a payment regardless of the reason for the employment separation (including resignation). Specialist advice should also be sought if an employer is considering meeting their Building and Construction Award redundancy obligations via contributing to an optional redundancy fund payment such as BERT or ACIIRT.
The typical roster under the Building and Construction Award for a full-time employee is a 20-day roster, worked between Monday to Friday, with 0.4 hours per day accruing towards a Rostered Day Off (RDO). The ordinary 38 hours per week are to be worked between 7 am and 6 pm, with the ability to alter standard hours through an agreement between the parties.
All employees under the Building and Construction Award have two standard breaks per day: an unpaid lunch break of at least 30 minutes between noon and 1 pm and a paid smoko break of 10 minutes between 9 am and 11 am. Meal breaks are also prescribed when employees work an additional 2 hours of overtime from Monday to Friday or after working 4 hours on a Saturday, Sunday or a Public Holiday under the Building and Construction Award.
The Building and Construction Award mandates a fatigue break where an employee must have a 10-hour continuous break between the completion of overtime and the employee’s normal starting time on the following workday. If the employee has not had a 10-hour break, they must be released from work or, if required to continue work, entitled to an additional penalty under the Building and Construction Award.
The Building and Construction Award contains several common allowances, including fares and travel within a 50 km radius which is a daily payment for employees who are required to start and finish work on a building site rather than at a depot or office. Additional payments normally apply where employees are directed to proceed to jobs outside the travel radius under the Building and Construction Award.
Employers should also be aware of all-purpose allowances contained within the Building and Construction Award, such as Industry Allowances and Tools Allowances (for tradespersons).
The Building and Construction Award has specific provisions called `Inclement Weather’ which refers to situations where an employee is prevented from starting work or undertaking work due to inclement conditions such as rain, dust, or high temperatures and humidity. The provisions incorporate processes that need to be followed by employees and employers alike, and it is highly recommended that you seek specialist advice prior to these situations arising. Traditionally, the interpretation of inclement weather can cause conflict at the worksite or encourage interference from third parties.
The Building and Construction Award has prescribed penalty rates where employees are required to work overtime beyond their usual finishing time or outside their ordinary working hours. Penalty rates under the Construction Award can be summarised as 150% (first 2 hours Monday to Friday and Saturday before noon), 200% (after 2 hours Monday to Friday, Saturday from noon, all hours Sunday), and 250% for work performed on public holidays.
Workforce Advisory Lawyers offers a service at competitive rates where we undertake a thorough audit of your employment records to ensure all employees are correctly classified, receiving the correct wages and overtime payments, as well as superannuation entitlements. The audit also ensures you are keeping all time and wages records and employment details, as required by the Fair Work Ombudsman under the Building and Construction Award.
The Building and Construction Award has annual leave requirements which are compatible with the National Employment Standards (NES), being 4 weeks per year and entitlement to 17 ½ % leave loading when annual leave is taken. If an employee has more than eight weeks accrued leave, under the award, there are provisions for the employer to manage this to a minimum of six weeks.
As is now common with many Federal awards, the Building and Construction Awards refers to the following leave provisions:
Sick and Carer’s Leave;
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave;
Maternity and Parental Leave;
Community Service Leave;
Family and Domestic Violence Leave;
to the standards contained within the NES.
The Building and Construction Award has standard consultation provisions in writing that apply when an employer makes a definite decision to make major changes likely to have significant effects on employees.
For questions about Construction Award or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 WAL LAW, 0417 622 178 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.