IR Q&A Issue 10
Q & A with Kristie Burt
Q: When I have employees working overtime, what are they entitled to?
A: The Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 provides that when a worker is working outside of their ordinary hours, they will be entitled to overtime.
Any time worked (outside the ordinary hours of work) will be at the rate of 150% of the ordinary hourly rate of pay for the first two hours, and then at 200% thereafter. There are also provisions regarding minimum payment/engagement for when an employee is recalled to work overtime after leaving the premises, when they can take a meal/rest break and any applicable allowances, if they work through a meal break, and prescribed rest periods between the finish of overtime work and the commencement of ordinary hours.
Remember that you can require an employee to work reasonable overtime but they can refuse to work overtime if it would be unreasonable with regards to risks to their health and safety, personal circumstances, notice given or any other relevant matter.
Q: I am looking to enter into a contract with a client but they have assured me that they have the cash and wonâ€™t be funded by the bank. What can I do to ensure that I get paid?
A: The ACT Home Building Contract provides that a client is to provide you with evidence of their capacity to pay the contract sums at the times and in the manner specified prior to the commencement of the building works.
General guidance with regards to what might be acceptable could include (but is not limited to):
- A copy of a bank statement;
- A letter/guarantee from a bank confirming the amount; or
- A letter from a solicitor showing that this money is being held in a trust account.
You should be satisfied before commencement that the client has the capacity to pay. Make sure you do what you can to mitigate the risks early on and that you have provisions in place to ask for further evidence, should you feel it is necessary, during the course of the building works.
Q: What does it mean to have a directorâ€™s guarantee?
A: A directorâ€™s guarantee is usually a personal guarantee from a director of a company and is generally used to support transactions for a company, such as bank loans, performance obligations and trade account applications.
These guarantees ensure that in the event where a company is not able to satisfy its obligations under a contract (e.g. repay a business loan or trade account), that the director (or a number of directors where they are all required to sign a separate guarantee) can be held personally liable for the companyâ€™s obligations.
Often, people will just sign a guarantee document without actually knowing what it means for them. It is my advice that if you are required to sign a guarantee on behalf of your company, that you first have read and understood what it means for you personally even if it means having a chat to a solicitor for some advice. The next important step is to keep a record of this signed document on file for easy reference.
If you have any queries or would like to ask a question, please contact me on 6175 5919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org