Protecting Australian jobs through labour market testing

Employers covered by the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 seeking to recruit non-Australian citizens or non-permanent residents for building work are required to undertake a series of tests. These are commonly known as ‘labour market testing’. 

To meet the requirements of labour market testing, employers need to ensure:

•      the position is first advertised in Australia 

•      advertising is presented in a way that a significant proportion of suitably qualified Australian citizens and permanent residents would be likely to be informed about the position 

•      any skills or experience requirements listed in the advertising are appropriate to the position 

•      they can demonstrate that no Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident is suitable for the job. 

In April this year the ABCC commenced an audit of contractors who had employed workers who were not Australian citizens or permanent residents. The audit focused on whether contractors were meeting the labour market testing requirements outlined in section 11F of the Code.

The audit included a random selection of large and small-sized head contractors engaged on projects throughout Australia. The audit found 83 per cent were meeting their obligations. Of those that were non-compliant, alleged breaches mostly centred on the adequacy of how they were advertising positions. 

These included: 

  • not advertising positions
  • only advertising on Facebook
  • not advertising in a way that is accessible and likely to be found by jobseekers 


The ABCC sought voluntary rectification from contractors alleged to have breached the Code. Rectification measures included:

  • Undertaking further education and training of relevant staff on labour market testing requirements in the Code.
  • Notifying relevant staff of the Code breach and reconfirming the contractor’s expectations regarding labour market testing.
  • Updating company procedures and policies to make clear their requirements when advertising positions involving building work.
  • Committing to meet labour market testing requirements in the Code in future.
    The ABCC will continue to monitor contractor compliance with the labour market testing requirements through future compliance activities.

Our labour market testing webpage provides further information.

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