Table of Contents

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

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

administered items

These are 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

  • person engaged under section 22, or engaged as an APS employee, under section 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. FWC 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.

Building Code 2013

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

building work

FWBC has jurisdiction over building work, in its broad definition, 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 to construction and repairs, through to landscaping and finishing-off. Importantly, FWBC has jurisdiction over commercial building and significant residential building projects.


  • 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. Certain kinds of coercion are unlawful under the general protections provisions in the FW Act.

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 section 12 of the FW Act.

employee organisation

  • an organisation of employees within the meaning of section 12 of the FW Act.


  • meaning as given by section 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).

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.

industrial body

  • meaning as given by section 12 of the FW Act.

industrial instrument

The instrument is an award or agreement, however designated, that:

  • is made under or recognised by an industrial law; or
  • 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 section 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 section 12 of the FW Act.


  • the results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Commonwealth on the Australian community.

Outcomes should be consistent with those listed in agencies' PBS 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.

Act 2013 (PGPA Act)

  • primary piece of Commonwealth resource management legislation, which 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 and is the primary vehicles for government agencies to achieve the results set out in their outcome statements.

Public Service Act 1999 (PS Act)

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

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 charter

A service charter is a public statement about services a department or agency will provide and what customers can expect. 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;
  • not ‘excluded' action; and
  • constitutionally connected.

workplace laws

  • Commonwealth Acts and regulations in relation to the building and construction industry.