New national Code likely to be introduced

New national Code likely to be introduced

New national Code likely to be introduced

Following a motion passed at the recent ALP National Conference, it is considered highly likely that the Federal government will introduce a new code for building works undertaken for or on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The motion, proposed by the CFMEU National Secretary & ACT Branch Secretary of Construction and General Division, compels the government’s ‘buying power to ensure secure, good quality, local jobs for Australian workers in government contracts and to support businesses that engage in fair, equitable, ethical and sustainable practices’.

The government intends to introduce a ‘Secure Australian Jobs Code‘ where entities tendering for government contracts must obtain a certification to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and support the adoption of ‘best practice’ workplace relations and health and safety.

The Code will likely mirror the recently introduced ‘Fair Jobs Code’ that applies to tendering for government work in Victoria.

Under the Victorian plan, suppliers, after receiving certification, must submit a ‘Fair Jobs Code Plan’ to demonstrate how they will:

  • comply with applicable employment, industrial relations, and WHS obligations;
  • promote secure employment and job security;
  • foster cooperation and develop constructive relationships between employers, employees and their representatives;
  • foster workplace equity and diversity;
  • promote supply chain compliance.

The Secure Australian Jobs Code will apply to directly funded Commonwealth projects or projects where the Commonwealth is the primary or sole funder. The scope of the Code will be very wide, including:

  • Clean and renewable energy projects;
  • Public housing construction and build-to-rent construction
  • Fit-out and other similar works for properties leased by the Commonwealth;
  • Property services;
  • Transportation and shipping services;
  • Defence projects and services.

It is intended that the Code will develop guidelines focusing on the fair treatment of workers, job security, fair and reasonable wages and conditions, and the use of ethical and sustainable practices.

The government has not indicated when it intends to introduce draft legislation to Parliament to enact the proposed Code.

For questions about unions, procurement requirements, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 925 529, 0417 622 178 or via email to

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.

Ref: 392.0923

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