Media activity

FWBC is aware of the role the media plays in informing industry participants of FWBC’s activities, explaining key outcomes and improving understanding of Australian workplace laws.

FWBC releases a media backgrounder for each new legal proceeding to detail allegations in the statement of claim, as well as a media statement commenting on each judgment FWBC is involved in when it is handed down. FWBC also provides media statements and alerts on current and relevant issues as they occur in the building and construction industry.

As at 30 June 2012, FWBC issued six media statements, released two media backgrounders and responded to one media request.

TABLE 2.6 MEDIA ACTIVITY

Media activity

2011-12

Media statements issued

6

Media backgrounders issued

2

Responses to media requests

1

Website

FWBC’s website provides building industry participants access to educational materials and allows interested members of the community to monitor its activities.

FWBC’s website is currently undergoing a major restructure and is expected to be completed by early 2013. It will contain a wider range of educational material that will assist building industry participants in understanding their workplace rights and responsibilities.

Campaigns

FWBC is committed to taking a proactive approach to creating harmonious, productive and fair workplaces in the building and construction industry. One way FWBC achieves this is through targeted, accurate, accessible and relevant education campaigns. As at 30 June 2012, FWBC:

  • assumed responsibility for implementing each recommendation of the Sham Contracting Report
  • was developing a youth campaign
  • initiated a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) workers campaign.

Sham contracting

The Sham Contracting Inquiry was a major step in helping the Australian community better identify and address the issue of sham contracting within the building and construction industry. The Sham Contracting Report was released in November 2011. FWBC assumed responsibility for implementing each recommendation of the Sham Contracting Report.

One of the key findings of the Inquiry was that there was a need to gather reliable data about the incidence of sham contracting. To that end, the agency appointed TNS Research to undertake research with industry participants to evaluate the scope of sham contracting by applying industry standard statistical models. As at the end of the reporting period, this project has yet to be completed. This research will provide FWBC with a solid evidence base from which to develop policy, and will serve as a reference for a wider debate among industry stakeholders.

Youth campaign

FWBC aims to create a positive and productive workplace relations culture by empowering young people with knowledge about their workplace rights and entitlements. By providing accurate, accessible and relevant education and advice to young workers in the early stage of their career, FWBC will establish a long term culture of compliance, reducing the level of vulnerability of young workers and preventing potential workplace issues.

A micro site is due to be launched at the end of 2012 that will act as a hub for young people interested in working or already commenced working in the building and construction industry.

CALD campaign

FWBC undertook preparatory work for a CALD campaign in order to better understand the issues facing CALD workers in the building and construction industry. Following community consultations in April 2012, a range of materials are being developed to target building and construction workers from CALD backgrounds.

Providing relevant information in a range of key languages will ensure CALD industry participants understand their workplace rights and responsibilities, reducing their vulnerability to exploitation.

During the reporting period, FWBC developed in-language videos that respond directly to the issues raised in community consultations conducted earlier in the year. The videos were filmed in eight key languages and aim to build greater awareness of workplace rights and encourage information seeking behaviour among CALD audiences.

Fact sheets

FWBC produces a series of fact sheets on topics including the rights and responsibilities of industry participants and the National Code. These can be downloaded from the FWBC website and are available in hard copy upon request.

FWBC is currently working to simplify and reduce the number of fact sheets to assist building industry participants in understanding their workplace rights and responsibilities.

As at 30 June 2012, 45 fact sheets were available from the FWBC website.

TABLE 2.7 SUMMARY OF INVESTIGATIONS

 

2011-12

Number of investigations

96

New investigations

18

Cases finalised

35

Investigations continuing

68