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How to be compliant with the new Building Code

Feb 16, 2017 How to be compliant with the new Building Code

The Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Amendment Bill 2017 has passed through the Senate with a key amendment relating to the timing of the application of Building Code 2016. The Bill has amended the expiry of the transition period from 28 November 2018 to 31 August 2017, effectively bringing forward the need to comply with Building Code 2016 to 1 September 2017.

What does this mean for you?

If you are seeking to win contracts for Commonwealth-funded building work you are required to have a Code-compliant agreement by 31 August 2017. Additionally, the exemption until 31 August 2017 is limited to submitting expressions of interest and tendering, meaning your agreement will need to comply with the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work (2016 Code) before you can win Commonwealth work.

The timing of your current enterprise agreements have a bearing on your compliance with Building Code 2016:

  • Agreements made on or after 2 December 2016 must comply with the 2016 Code to submit an expression of interest tender or be awarded Commonwealth funded work. 
  • Agreements made before 2 December 2016 will no longer be deemed compliant with the 2016 Code until 28 November 2018. You can submit an expression of interest and tender for Commonwealth funded work until 31 August 2017, but will need a Code-compliant agreement to be awarded the work. However, if you have already submitted an expression of interest or tendered for relevant building work before the Bill's commencement you will remain eligible to be awarded that building work until 28 November 2018.

How do I show I am Code-compliant?

If you are Code-compliant the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) will issue you with a Letter of Compliance. This letter is required if you wish to undertake Commonwealth-funded building work.

To be issued a Letter of Compliance you will need to submit the Building Code 2016 Assessment Request/Letter of Compliance Form, available here.

Do I need to obtain a letter of compliance if my employees are covered by the terms of a modern award?

Yes. Even if you do not have an enterprise agreement, all contractors who are seeking to win contracts for Commonwealth-funded building work will require a Letter of Compliance.

What do I need to do to ensure my agreement is Code-compliant?

This will depend on the current status of your enterprise agreement:

  • Enterprise agreements that have passed their nominal expiry date or will pass their nominal expiry before 31 August 2017: We recommend you act fast to get a new Code-compliant agreement in force before 31 August 2017. The Industrial Relations team at Master Builders SA can assist you in reviewing and drafting your new enterprise agreement to ensure compliance.
  • Enterprise agreements still in force after 31 August 2017 and assessed as being compliant with Building Code 2014: Your agreement will most likely be compliant with the 2016 Code. Please contact our Industrial Relations team for a review.
  • Enterprise agreements still be in force after 31 August 2017 and not Code-compliant: Contact the Industrial Relations team at Master Builders SA who are available to help you review your agreement and provide you with advice as to your best options moving forward. 
  • Enterprise agreements entered into before 25 April 2014 and have not been varied: These agreements are exempt from having to be compliant with the 2016 Code.

The Industrial Relations team at Master Builders SA can assist your organisation to smoothly transition to Building Code 2016, ensuring you are eligible to be awarded Commonwealth-funded work.  Please contact our Industrial Relations team on 08 8122 4990 or at IR@mbasa.com.au for any further assistance or more information.