IR Q&A Issue 19

Posted 22 March 2019

IR Q&A Issue 19

Q: Is it true that if the employee is a member of the union, that the union is automatically their bargaining rep in the first instance when it comes to enterprise bargaining!? 

A: In short, yes.  If the employee is a member of a union and that union is entitled to represent the industrial interests of the employee, the union will be the default bargaining representative for that person unless they appoint themselves or another person to act on their behalf.

If an employee appoints themselves or another person to represent them in the bargaining for an enterprise agreement, this appointment should be made in writing and a copy of this must also be provided to the employer.  This document will then revoke the union’s status as an employee bargaining representative for this employee. 


Q: What’s the difference between builder’s margin and profit?

A:  To start with, one is an agreed contractual term and the other is an accounting term. 

The simplest way to think about it is that your builder’s margin is what you are permitted to add on top of any amount which is added to the contract price (e.g. variations or differences to prime cost/provisional sum items) and your profit is the ‘cream’ that you would make on the job.

Here is a more formal explanation of each:

Builder’s margin as provided in the ACT Home Building Contract is the percentage nominated in Item A18 (usually 20%).  This is the rate to be added to any amount added to the contract sum (unless otherwise stated in the contract).  This is intended to allow for consequential additional work/administration costs which come as a result of a variation or an alternative product being used, other than that specified in the contract.

Profit is simply the amount that you make on the project after paying all of your costs (labour and materials).  This amount is not usually stated in a contract and is for the builder’s information only.


Q: I am applying for my SLJC Certificate.  I don’t know what I need to disclose in my application at Items 9 and 10.  Help!

A: Great question!  Item 9 asks the applicant to disclose information regarding any proceedings, findings, convictions or prosecutions against the applicant, its business or any of its associated entities

Item 10 requires the applicant to disclose any remedial measures, such as fines, penalties, etc. that have been ordered against the applicant, its business or any of its associated entities from proceedings, from those things mentioned in Item 9. 

We have received advice from the Secure Local Jobs Registrar that it is best to disclose all relevant information so as to avoid your application potentially being rejected for a failure to disclose relevant information.  If in doubt, ask your auditor or contact the SLJC Team on 6207 7377.


Kristie Burt will be on leave between Friday 22 March 2019 and Friday 12 April 2019.


For any IR and/or legal queries during this time, please contact Ashlee Berry

on 6175 5900 or

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