Note: Definitions in this glossary have been prepared to assist readers in understanding the FWBC Annual Report. They should not be regarded as comprehensive or legally authoritative.

accrual accounting

System of accounting whereby items are brought to account and included in the financial statements as they are earned or incurred, rather than as they are received or paid.

administered items

Expenses, revenues, assets and liabilities managed by agencies on behalf of the Commonwealth. Agencies do not control administered items. Administered expenses include grants, subsidies and benefits. In many cases administered expenses fund the delivery of third party outputs.


The terms “agency” and “the agency” are used in this report to refer to Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC).

annual appropriation

Two appropriation bills are introduced into Parliament in May and comprise the budget for the financial year beginning 1 July. Further bills are introduced later in the financial year as part of the additional estimates. Parliamentary departments have their own appropriations.

APS employee

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


Documents that set out the minimum wages and conditions of employees. In some cases awards cover a specific issue such as superannuation or long service leave. FWA oversees federal awards, while state industrial tribunals are responsible for state awards. Sometimes, both federal and state awards can apply to the one workplace, although to different classifications of employees.


Broadbanding describes the action of combining two or more non-SES Australian Public Service classification levels into a single, broader group of duties within an agency.

Building Code 2013

The Building Code is the set of rules that replaced the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry on 1 February 2013.

The Building Code 2013 sets out the Australian Government’s expected standards for building contractors or building industry participants involved in Commonwealth funded construction projects. It applies to building contractors and building industry participants who have submitted an expression of interest or tendered for Commonwealth funded building work.

building industry participant

Any of the following:

  • a building employee
  • a building employer
  • a building 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
  • an officer, delegate or other representative of a building association
  • an employee of a building association.

building work

FWBC has jurisdiction over a very broad definition of building work throughout Australia. The few exceptions encompass mining and drilling operations and operations related to single-dwelling homes. This leaves FWBC with jurisdiction over practically all other aspects of building work, ranging from off-site prefabrication through construction and repairs to landscaping and finishing off. Importantly, it has jurisdiction over commercial building and significant residential building projects.

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.


Meaning as given by s.12 of the FW Act.

employee organisation

An organisation of employees within the meaning of s.12 of the FW Act.


Meaning as given by s.12 of the FW Act.

Enterprise agreement

An agreement made under the FW 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.


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.

Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act)

The FW Act provides a comprehensive set of rules for industrial regulation in Australia. On 1 July 2009 the FW Act replaced the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WR Act).

Fair Work Commission

Fair Work Commission (FWC) is one of the two regulatory bodies, the other being the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), which on 1 July 2009 took over the functions of six government agencies responsible for industrial regulation.

Fair Work Ombudsman

Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is one of the two regulatory bodies, the other being Fair Work Australia, which on 1 July 2009 took over the functions of six government agencies responsible for industrial regulation.

Federal Court

The Federal Court of Australia.

financial results

The results shown in the financial statements of an agency.

freedom of association

The freedom of association provisions of the FW Act prohibit victimisation or discrimination on various grounds, including a person’s membership or non-membership of an industrial association, or the exercise of a person’s rights under industrial laws. The provisions abolish preference in employment and compulsory unionism.



Commonwealth financial assistance as defined under Regulations 3A(1) and 3A(2) of the FMA Act.

industrial body

Meaning as given by s.12 of the FW Act.

industrial instrument

An award or agreement, however designated, that:

  • is made under or recognised by an industrial law; and
  • deals with the relationship between employers and employees, concerns the relationship between an employer and the employer’s employees, or provides for the prevention or settlement of a dispute between an employer and the employer’s employees.

non-ongoing APS employee

A person engaged as an APS employee under s.22(2)(b) or 22(2)(c) of the PS Act.

ongoing APS employee

A person engaged as an ongoing APS employee as mentioned in s.22(2)(a) of the PS Act.


Meaning as given by s.12 of the FW Act.


The results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Commonwealth on the Australian community. They should be consistent with those listed in agencies’ Portfolio Budget Statements and Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.


The proficiency of an agency or authority in acquiring resources economically and using those resources efficiently and effectively in achieving planned outcomes.

performance information

Evidence about performance that is collected and used systematically which may relate to the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency and the extent to which an outcome can be attributed to an intervention.

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act)

The primary piece of Commonwealth resource management legislation, replaced the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) on 1 July 2014.

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 as a whole and are the primary vehicles for government agencies to achieve the intended results of their outcome statements.

Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act)

The principal Commonwealth law providing for the establishment and management of the Australian Public Service.

purchaser/provider arrangements

Arrangements under which the outputs of an agency are purchased by another agency to contribute to outcomes. Purchaser/provider arrangements can occur between Commonwealth agencies or between Commonwealth agencies and state/territory government or private sector bodies.

right of entry

The FW Act and the various state acts contain provisions regulating the right that certain individuals have to enter worksites. The exact provisions vary from state to state.

Service charters

A service charter is a public statement about the services that a department or agency will provide and what customers can expect. In particular the service charter advises what the department or agency does, how to contact and communicate with the department or agency, the standard of service customers can expect, and their basic rights and responsibilities. It also advises how customers can provide feedback or make a complaint.

unlawful industrial action

Building industrial action is unlawful if it is:

  • industrially motivated
  • constitutionally connected
  • not excluded action.

workplace laws

Commonwealth Acts and Regulations in relation to the building and construction industry.