Agency (or the agency)

Used in this report to refer to the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

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 industry participant is:

  • 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

Building work includes:

  • any of the following activities, insofar 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:
    • construction
    • alteration
    • extension
    • restoration
    • repair
    • demolition or
    • dismantling
  • the same activities listed above, insofar 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
    • 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
    • laying of foundations
    • erection, maintenance or dismantling of scaffolding
    • on-site or off-site prefabrication of made-to-order components to form part of any building, structure or works
    • 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 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 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.

Code covered entity

A building contractor or building industry participant that has become subject to the 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.


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

Funding entity

A government agency that procures Commonwealth funded construction work. For the purposes of the 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 PGPA Act that is directed by the Minister for Finance to comply with the 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 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.

Industrial action

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.

Security of payment

A building contractor's right to receive payments that are due, as outlined in their contract and without delay. Each state and territory has its own security of payment laws that provide a rapid statutory mechanism for resolving payment disputes on an interim basis. This is known as adjudication. The ABCC is responsible for monitoring the security of payment requirements of the Code. See also Code.

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
  • not protected industrial action under section 8 of the BCIIP Act.

Unlawful picketing

Unlawful picketing of a building site, or a site ancillary to a building site, is prohibited if the picket is for the purpose of supporting or advancing claims against a building industry participant in respect of the participant's employees or contractors, or if the picket is otherwise unlawful. It is unlawful to:

  • prevent or restrict persons from accessing or leaving a building or ancillary site
  • take action to prevent or restrict a person accessing or leaving a building or ancillary site
  • take action that would reasonably be expected to intimidate a person from accessing or leaving a building or ancillary site.