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Update to the Building and Construction On-Site Award

Modern Award Update
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Update to the Building and Construction On-Site Award

Update to the Building and Construction On-Site Award

1 March 2021

As a result of the 4-yearly review of modern awards, on 4 December 2020, the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision ([2020] FWCFB 6040) to address several outstanding technical and drafting matters in the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 (On-Site Award), Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010 (Joinery Award), Mobile Crane Hiring Award 2010 (Mobile Crane Award) and the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 (Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award) (collectively the ‘Construction Awards’). The re-drafting process of the modern awards aimed to address some of the known structural issues in the modern awards and applied plain language drafting principles and techniques. This part of the review did not deal with substantive issues in the Construction Awards as these were predominantly dealt prior to this decision (see links to the exposure drafts below).


What are the other changes?

The varied Construction Awards will have the year ‘2020’ in their titles and include summaries of the hourly rates of pay and monetary allowances in the schedules of the Awards. Below is a summary of the main drafting issues in the final exposure draft of the On-Site Award that were addressed in the decision.
  • Deletion of duplicate definition of ‘adult apprentice’
  • Clarification on a minor coverage issue in relation to the Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award 2020 in clause 4.4(g)
  • Additional provisions (clauses 16.6 Requirement to work on a day that is a RDO, 16.11(a), Other conditions for working ordinary hours—Early starts, 21.1(b)(i) Tools and protective or other clothing or equipment, 21.1(c)(i) Tools and protective or other clothing or equipment, and 29.12 Time off instead of payment of overtime) inserted in the table at clause 7.2 regarding facilitative provisions
  • Amendment to the wording in 16.11(a) Other conditions for working ordinary hours—Early starts, to add clarity to the provision.
  • Deletion of “(full-time employee)” in the table at clause 19.1(a) as the minimum weekly rates are not limited to full-time employment
  • “Skill level B” and “Skill level A” replaced with “Wage Level B” and “Wage Level A” where they appear in the tables in clauses 19.10(c)(i) and 19.10(c)(ii) regarding rates of pay for traineeships other than civil construction traineeships
  • Amendment in clause 21.2(a) to correctly cross reference “clause 16 – Ordinary hours of work and rostering arrangements” to add clarity to the meal allowance provision (the time worked for accrual purposes refers to RDO accrual in clause 16)
  • Clause 23.9(a) reworded to “(a) In charge of plant has the meaning given in clause 2.”
  • Definition of “accident pay” moved to 2 – Definitions and clause 27.2 reworded to “27.2 Accident pay has the meaning given in clause 2.”
  • Correction to the cross reference in 28.5 Absence from work regarding obligations for an employer to make superannuation contributions set out in 28.2 employer contributions
  • A note inserted at the end of 18.1 Meal breakday workers regarding penalty rates that apply when an employee is required to work through a meal break as in 29.6 Work during meal break—day workers
  • Amendments to ensure that all the all purposes industry allowances in the table at B.1.1 Weekly wage-related allowances are noted by an asterix
  • Rewording the Mobiles Cranes capacity adjustment formula in the table at B.1.1 Weekly wagerelated allowances to add the wording “for each additional 40 tonnes over max limit” where “per week” is mentioned
  • Amendments to ensure previous award provisions for the allowances mentioned in the table at B.2.1 Expense-related allowances are correctly updated to current award provisions and clause references

To view the On-Site Award exposure draft click here.

To view the future On-Site Award click here.

Other changes that have also been incorporated into the varied Constructions Awards include issues relating to:
  • Clarification of the calculation of overtime for casuals
  • Wages and expense-related allowances that reflect the adjustment in accordance with the Annual Wage Review 2019-20 Decision (effective 1 November 2020);
  • Schedule X—Additional Measures During the COVID-19 Pandemic being extended until 29 March 2021 (excluding the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award)


When will the changes come into effect?

These changes will be effective from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 March 2021.


Further information

To view the updated version of the On-Site from the abovementioned effective date, click here.

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