The ABCC has provided this information to assist tenderers to meet the Workplace Relations Management Plans (WRMPs) content requirements in Schedule 4 of the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code). However, it is not an exhaustive list of the matters that must be addressed.

Tenderer’s should submit their WRMPs to their funding entity or funding recipient, who will then submit the WRMP for assessment. Tenderer’s should not submit their WRMPs directly to the ABCC. For more information please visit the Workplace relations management plan ( WRMP) page.

Section 32  Content of a WRMP
32(2)(a) a fitness for work policy to manage alcohol and other drugs in the workplace that applies to all persons engaged to perform building work on a project and address the matters set out in Schedule 4
 
  • The fitness for work policy forms part of the WRMP. Accordingly, a WRMP can only be approved if it includes a fitness for work policy.
  • The fitness for work policy must address each of the Items set out in Schedule 4.
  • General statements undertaking to implement an existing policy in accordance with Schedule 4 are not sufficient.
  • The fitness for work policy must not provide for a client or subcontractor policy to apply instead of or override (in whole or in part) the tenderer’s policy. If the client has specific fitness for work requirements, these can be incorporated into the tenderer’s policy, but they must also meet the requirements of the Code
  • Even if a previous assessment only required amendments to the fitness for work policy, the entire WRMP must be re-submitted. The ABCC will not approve a WRMP unless it is submitted in its entirety.
Schedule 4  Fitness for Work / Alcohol and other drugs in the workplace
Item 1 how those on site (including employees of the head contractor, subcontractors and their employees and others) will be required to comply with the relevant fitness for work policy (i.e. through contract or some other enforceable means).
 
  • General statements that persons are required to comply with the fitness for work policy are not sufficient.
  • The policy must clearly state how each of the persons described above are required to comply. For example, requiring compliance with the policy as a term of the contract of employment (employees) or contract of services (subcontractors).
  • Where a joint venture is delivering the project, the fitness for work policy must state clearly how all those onsite who are part of the joint venture will be required to comply with the fitness for work policy.
Item 2 the use of an objective medical testing method/s to detect the presence of drugs or alcohol in a worker's system and outline the detection method/s to be used on the project.
 
  • The fitness for work policy must provide for a method of objective medical testing. For example, the fitness for work policy could outline particular detection methods (breath, urine, saliva or blood testing). The relevant Australian standards provide for these objective testing methods and so this requirement may be met by stating that testing will occur in accordance with Australian standards.
  • There is a zero level tolerance for drugs and alcohol, subject to testing detectable levels. The fitness for work policy is not required to list the detectable cut-off levels for drugs if it states that testing will occur in accordance with Australian Standards. However, if the fitness for work policy specifies detectable cut-off levels for drugs without reference to the Australian Standards, these detectable levels must match the cut-off levels in the Australian standards, or be at a lower detectable level.
  • If referring to AS4760 (the Australian Standard for saliva testing) the fitness for work policy must specify a detectable cut-off level for Benzodiazepines.
Item 3

the requirement that all of the following substances are tested for:

(i) Alcohol;

(ii) Opiates;

(iii) THC;

(iv) Cocaine;

(v) Benzodiazepines;

(vi) Amphetamine; and

(vii) Methamphetamine.

 
  • The fitness for work policy must list all of the above substances as they appear – e.g. “Methyl-amphetamine” or “cannabis” is not sufficient.
  • Additional substances may also form part of the testing procedure, but are not required.

Item 4

 

 

Item 5

that a person who returns a positive result for any of the substances listed above will be deemed not to be fit for work (in respect of each substance listed above, subject to testing detectable levels, there is a zero level tolerance).

how a person who returns a positive result will be prevented from performing work until they can prove they are fit to return to work, and other processes that will apply in the event of a positive result or deemed positive result (i.e. a failure to submit to a test).

 
  • The fitness for work policy must address both that a person will be deemed not to be fit for work; and that they will be prevented from performing work until they prove that they are fit to do so.
  • The fitness for work policy must identify the process for a worker returning to work – e.g. return to work drug test.
  • If the fitness for work policy provides for alcohol to be provided at work-related functions, even where those functions take place outside of the worksite or work hours, it must state expressly that workers who consume alcohol at such functions are deemed not fit for work and will be prevented from performing work.
  • If the fitness for work policy makes reference to over-the-counter or prescription medication, it must make it clear that if workers test non-negative or positive to any of the drugs listed in item 3 as a result of over-the-counter or prescription medication such workers are deemed unfit for work and will be prevented from performing work until they are fit for work.
Item 6

the requirement that, as a minimum, frequent and periodic testing (at least once per month) of the workforce (both construction workers and site office workers) will be as follows:

(i) where there are less than 30 workers on site – at least 10% of the workforce;

(ii) where there are 30 to 100 workers on site – a minimum of 5 workers per month; and

(iii) where there are greater than 100 workers on site – a minimum of 10 workers per month.

 

Frequent and Periodic Testing

  • Testing must occur at least once per month.
  • These testing numbers must only comprise the random testing of construction and site office workers. They must not include higher-risk, for-cause or voluntary testing, or the testing of visitors.
  • The frequent and periodic testing requirements apply to both alcohol and each of the substances listed.
Item 7 procedures for the selection of personnel to be tested (including staged selection across a worksite or random selection for testing if the entire workforce is not to be tested in a testing round).
 
  • The fitness for work policy must outline the actual process for randomly selecting workers for drug and alcohol testing (e.g. random electronic selection or random selection of marbles of a particular colour). General statements that testing will be random are not sufficient.
Item 8 procedures for the targeted testing of higher-risk activities, voluntary testing and for-cause testing.
 

Targeted testing: higher-risk activities

  • The fitness for work policy must outline clearly that the targeted testing of higher-risk activities is in addition to the above frequency / minimum testing requirements, and cannot form part of the random testing.
  • The fitness for work policy must provide a definition of “higher-risk activities”, such as by including a list of functions or roles, or by adopting the definition from applicable work, health and safety legislation.
  • A blanket statement that all construction work is high risk will not be sufficient.

Targeted testing: for-cause testing

  • Testing must be separate from the targeted testing of higher-risk activities and minimum frequent and periodic testing numbers.

Voluntary testing

  • Testing must be separate from the targeted testing of higher-risk activities and for-cause testing and the minimum frequent and periodic testing numbers.
Item 9 how workers who attend for work affected by drugs or alcohol will be counselled and assisted, apart from any disciplinary process that might apply.
 
  • The fitness for work policy must provide for counselling and assistance separately from disciplinary processes and regardless of whether the worker has self-reported.
  • It is acceptable for a head contractor to require subcontractors to assist and counsel their own employees in relation to alcohol and drugs.