The FairWork Ombudsman is making the construction industry understand that their employees are not liabilities, but assets.
For far too long, employers have looked at their employees negatively as a drain on their profits due to rising insurance premiums, training requirements, and compliance, however, in 2021, the switch has been flicked in the other direction to take a more positive stance on employees and looking after their safety, their wellbeing and ultimately their pay rates.
Forty-one percent of building and construction businesses in Australia in 2014-2015 had issues with compliance in regards to workplace relation laws. The FairWork Ombudsman checked 700 businesses to see if they complied with pay rates, payslips, and record-keeping practices and helped employers fix any mistakes. While there have been vast improvements over the past 5-6 years, the FairWork Ombudsman has created a series of articles to help employers ensure that they are compliant in all facets of paying their employees and completing the right paper. The QBCC (Queensland Building Construction Commission) is in the process of auditing contractors to check compliance with their obligations in respect of payment schedules under the BIF legislation. The audit program covers both builders and trade contractors. The audits are expected to be completed by 30 April 2021.
Meanwhile, the QBCC have created new laws for certifiers. All certifiers must keep inspection documentation for which the certifier is engaged for 7 years after the building work has been completed, rather than 5 years. Certifiers must keep a compliance certificate, the notice given to the builder about the inspection of the work, a certificate about the inspections, a final inspection certificate, a certificate of classification, and a certificate relating to the inspection of the building work relied on by the relevant building certifier.
The onset of COVID-19 also plays a large part in the New Safety Rules for the Construction Industry. The important changes that have been made to the laws for workplace health and safety due to COVID-19, are to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites. At Regal Crane Hire we are implementing these new changes to ensure all our staff and sub-contractors can comply with the new regulations. These include increasing the use of personal protective equipment as well as other improved hygiene and social distancing practices which will limit the number of workers at a construction site; creating spaced walkways and limiting the number of employees in social areas such as lunchrooms.
At Regal Crane Hire, we are complying with all the new regulations, as the purpose is to create a happy, healthy work environment for our employees and contractors, by looking after their physical and mental wellbeing, compensating them for their exposure to high-risk activity, and rewarding them for their work efforts.