IR Q&A Issue 17

Posted 8 March 2019

IR Q&A Issue 17

Q: There is so much to managing employees - where do I start!? I am taking on a new carpenter - what do I need to have in place for her?

A: There is so much more to engaging new employees than just choosing the right person for your business. I have listed below a basic summary of those things that you will need to take into account/have in place for your new worker:

General requirements:

Construction-industry specific

  • ACT Leave - portable scheme
  • ACIRT (if you make contributions to an industry specific redundancy scheme*).

* There is an industry-specific redundancy scheme prescribed under the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010. The Award provides that an employer can make contributions on the employee's behalf in lieu of making the payment upon termination of employment (either instigated by the employer or where the employee resigns).

Q: Things have turned sour with a client. What are my rights under the Contract?

A: Firstly, what has happened between you and the client for things to have turned sour? Is it to do with payment? A defect? Has there been a breakdown in communication?

The ACT Home Building Contract has a clause which specifically deals with dispute resolution. You can always contact MBA for advice in relation to the issue at hand and receive advice as to what you can do to resolve the situation. Please note that in some circumstances, you might be encouraged to seek legal advice if the matter is outside of what MBA can assist with. It is not that we don't want to help you, it is because a solicitor might be in a better position to resolve the matter for you.

It is also important to know what your obligations are under the contract. If you would like a contracts 'crash course', feel free to contact me and I would be happy to run you through your obligations with you.

Q: I am just about to sign a contract worth $5.5million for a unit development. I have heard that I need to consult with the union. Is this true and is there anything else I need to know?

A: If you are entering into a contract worth $5million or more and it is not a single residential dwelling, there is a requirement for you to notify an eligible union about the number of work groups for that project and the number of HSRs and Deputy HSRs prior to the commencement of works. Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT), this project would be deemed to be a major construction project.

The following requirements will also apply:

  • The Principal Contractor is required to facilitate the election and training of the HSRs on the major construction project; and
  • The Principal Contractor is required to facilitate the election and training of the HSC for the major construction project.

These changes came into effect from 1 January 2019. To view a copy of our member guide regarding these changes, please click here.

If you have any queries or would like to ask a question, please contact Legal Manager Kristie Burt on 6175 5919 or email

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