October 2013 Industry Update

FWBC negotiates Enforceable Undertaking with QLD company

FWBC has just negotiated its third, and most significant, Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with a construction company, Remote Building Solutions (Qld) Pty Ltd.

An EU is a signed agreement between FWBC and another party under s715 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act). EU’s are designed to rectify breaches of workplace relations laws, without the need for FWBC to take the matter to court.

In this latest EU, which was signed on 6 September 2013, Remote Building Solutions has back-paid 62 workers $111,146. The company undertakes building work in remote Indigenous communities and engages local Indigenous workers.

Initially, the matter came to FWBC because a worker suspected they weren’t being paid correctly. This prompted a general audit of the company which revealed that its workers were being paid a flat rate.

None of the workers received casual loadings, overtime, special and industry allowance, camping allowances, and travel allowances and superannuation were either never paid or short paid.

None of the workers had ever received a letter of offer for employment outlining the terms and conditions of their employment.

The employees were working on the design and construction of housing and community buildings in far North QLD and other areas including Aurukun, Doomadgee, Mornington Island, Thursday Island, Palm Island, Badu Island and Murray Island.

Remote Building Solutions grew rapidly and didn’t have enough staff to keep up with the demands of their employment relations.

In addition to making the back-payments in April this year, the company has also committed to:

  • implementing better systems to ensure it complies with Commonwealth workplace laws.
  • ensuring staff responsible for human resource and payroll responsibilities attend an accredited training course which provides an overview of workers’ rights and responsibilities.
  • donating $15,000 to for a 12-week pre-employment training program for Indigenous school leavers.

EUs are just one of the many regulatory options available to FWBC. For more information, see our website.

Further information

Media release – Indigenous workers benefit from FWBC Enforceable Undertaking with QLD company

FWBC website – Enforceable Undertakings

 

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