The Australian Building and Construction Commission has reached a major milestone assessing 5000 enterprise agreements for compliance with the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 since its establishment in December 2016.

Building and construction businesses wanting to tender for Commonwealth funded work are required to comply with the 2016 Code, which is focused on ensuring building work is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively for the benefit of workers, employers and the national economy.

The 2016 Code came into effect on 2 December 2016 and sets out the Commonwealth Government’s expected standards of conduct for all building industry participants working on Commonwealth funded building projects.

Along with promoting an improved workplace relations framework, the Code is also instrumental in protecting freedom of association for workers ensuring they are not subject to discrimination and that they are able to choose whether or not to join a union free from coercion.

Since becoming responsible for assessing draft and registered agreements at the end of 2016 average turnaround times have decreased from 11 weeks to just two weeks.

ABCC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said the reason for the improvement was due to a combination of more resources and the development of guidance materials and assessment tools.

“The ABCC has worked hard to make it easier for contractors to comply with the Building Code 2016 and to reduce red tape for businesses,” Mr McBurney said.

“We have streamlined our processes and put relevant, easy to understand information at the fingertips of businesses and individuals.

“Pleasingly around three quarters of draft enterprise agreements we are now receiving for assessment are compliant with the 2016 Code. Where draft agreements are non-compliant the ABCC provides advice to enable them to be compliant in a short space of time.”

Mr McBurney said compliance with the 2016 Code provided industry with access to tender for billions of dollars of Commonwealth Government funded work.

“The Australian building and construction industry contributes more than $124 billion to the economy, making it the second largest contributor to gross domestic product and the third largest employer in Australia,” Mr McBurney said.

“The ABCC has a statutory mandate to advise and assist the building and construction industry regarding rights and obligations under the Code. The milestone achieved is an important landmark that demonstrates our commitment as regulator to enforcing the 2016 Code.”

For further information about the code or for assistance visit the ABCC’s website at, or call the hotline on 1800 003 338.

Media Release
17 January 2019