2016 Code

The Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016, which commenced on 2 December 2016 and sets out the Australian Government's expected standards for building contractors or building industry participants that seek to be, or are, involved in Commonwealth-funded construction projects. The 2016 Code applies to contractors who submit an expression of interest or tender for Commonwealth funded building work on or after 2 December 2016. See also Building Code 2013.

Agency (or the agency)

Used in this report to refer to the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), and its predecessor agency Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC).

APS employee

A person engaged under section 22, or engaged as an APS employee under section 72, of the Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act).


A legal instrument that sets out the minimum wages and conditions for the employees that are covered by it within a particular industry or occupation. Other known term: modern award.

Building contractor

A person who has entered into, or who has offered to enter into a contract for services under which the person carries out building work; or arranges for building work to be carried out.

Building industry participant

  • a building employee, employer or contractor;
  • a person who enters into a contract with a building contractor under which the building contractor agrees to carry out building work or to arrange for building work to be carried out;
  • a building association; or
  • an officer, delegate, employee or other representative of a building association.

Building work

  • Any of the following activities, in so far as they relate to buildings, structures or works that form, or are to form, part of land (including land beneath water), whether permanently or temporarily, being: construction; alteration; extension; restoration; repair; demolition; or dismantling.
  • The same activities listed above, in so far as they relate to railways (not including rolling stock) and docks.
  • The installation in any building, structures or works of fittings forming or to form part of land, such as: heating; lighting; air-conditioning; ventilation; power supply; drainage; sanitation; water supply; fire protection; security; and communications systems.
  • Any operation that is part of, in preparation for, or in completion of, any of the work described above, including: site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunnelling or boring; the laying of foundations; the erection, maintenance or dismantling of scaffolding; the on-site or off-site prefabrication of made-to-order components to form part of any building, structure or works; and site restoration, landscaping or the provision of roadways and other access works.
  • The transportation or supply of goods to be used for any of the work mentioned above, directly to building sites (including any resources platform) where that work is being, or may be, performed.

Building work does not include activities associated with:

  • drilling and resources extraction; or
  • domestic housing (unless a multi-dwelling development that consists of, or includes, the construction of at least 5 single-dwelling houses).

Building Code 2013

The set of rules that set out the Australian Government's expected standards for building contractors or building industry participants involved in Commonwealth-funded construction projects. The Building Code 2013 continues to operate in relation to building work to which it applied prior to 2 December 2016. See also 2016 Code.

Code covered entity

A building contractor or building industry participant that has become subject to the 2016 Code by submitting an expression of interest or tender (howsoever described) for Commonwealth funded building work on or after 2 December 2016.


The act of organising or taking action, or threatening to organise or take action against another person with intent to coerce the person, or a third person to do something they do not want to do.

Common law contract

An individual contract of employment between an employer and an employee that is not lodged or certified under federal or state legislation but is subject to award requirements and provisions.

Corporate governance

The process by which agencies are directed and controlled. It is generally understood to encompass authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control.

Enterprise agreement

An agreement made under the Fair Work Act (on or after 1 July 2009) between one or more employers and a group of employees in relation to terms and conditions of employment for those employees. See also FWC approved (registered) enterprise agreement; Draft enterprise agreement.


An attendance by a person, before the Commissioner, where the person is required to answer questions relevant to an investigation.


The total value of all resources consumed in producing goods and services or the loss of future economic benefits in the form of reductions in assets or increases in liabilities of an entity.

Draft enterprise agreement

An enterprise agreement that has not been approved by the FWC. See also Enterprise agreement; FWC approved (registered enterprise agreement).

Funding entity

A government agency that procures Commonwealth funded construction work. For the purposes of the 2016 Code, it is either of the following:

  • a non-corporate Commonwealth entity within the meaning of the PGPA Act; or
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 that is directed by the Minister for Finance to comply with the 2016 Code.

Funding recipient

An entity that the Commonwealth is providing funding or assistance to in relation to building work that may be subject to the 2016 Code.

Freedom of association

The right that employees, employers and contractors have to join or not join a union.

FWC approved (registered) enterprise agreement

An enterprise agreement that has been approved by the Fair Work Commission. See also Enterprise agreement; Draft enterprise agreement.

Industrial action

Industrial action is the refusal by employees to perform work or the performance of work in a manner that is intended to reduce productivity in a workplace (refer to section 7 of the BCIIP Act for a full definition). See also Unlawful industrial action.

Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS)

Statements prepared by portfolios to explain the budget appropriations in terms of planned government outcomes.


An activity, or group of activities, that delivers benefits, services or transfer payments to individuals, industry/business or the community and is the primary vehicle/s for government agencies to achieve the results set out in their PBS outcome statements.

Right of entry

The right that certain individuals have to enter worksites. The Fair Work Act and the various state and territory acts contain provisions regulating right of entry.

Sham contract

An attempt by an employer to misrepresent or disguise an employment relationship as an independent contracting arrangement.

Unlawful industrial action

Building industrial action is unlawful if it is:

  • industrial action under section 7 of the BCIIP Act; and
  • is not protected industrial action under section 8 of the BCIIP Act.

Workplace relations management plan (WRMP)

A comprehensive, practical plan that outlines how a tenderer will comply with the requirements of the 2016 Code on a particular project.