Welcome to the second edition of Enterprise Agreement News. In this edition we will outline how to get your agreement assessed if you applied for and/or received a letter of compliance for an agreement made before 2 December 2016 before the transitional arrangements were amended. We will also explain which letters of compliance cannot be relied on when tendering for Commonwealth funded building work. This edition also provides an update on our guidance material for enterprise agreement assessments which has just expanded by 380 clauses.    

Letters of Compliance

In February 2017 a number of amendments were made to the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity Act 2016 (BCIIP Act) and Building Code 2016 (the Code). Importantly, these amendments meant that letters of compliance previously issued by the ABCC in relation to enterprise agreements on the basis that their agreements were made prior 2 December 2016 (transitional letters of compliance) are no longer valid as evidence of eligibility to tender or be awarded a contract for Commonwealth funded building work.

At the time, the ABCC wrote to all stakeholders who received or requested a letter of compliance for an agreement made prior to 2 December 2016. Stakeholders were advised that due to the transitional amendments, agreements made before 2 December 2016 were no longer automatically taken to have met the requirements of Section 11 of the Code up to and including 28 November 2018. As a result, stakeholders were informed they could use a self-declaration until 1 September 2017 to express interest in or tender for Commonwealth funded building work but needed to apply for a new letter of compliance and have their agreement assessed in order to be awarded work and to be eligible to express interest in, tender for and be awarded work from 1 September 2017 onwards.

Unfortunately, we are still receiving a few enquiries from stakeholders regarding the progress of enterprise agreement assessments who have been advised that they need to re-submit their agreement for assessment due to these amendments.

If you applied for and/or received a transitional letter of compliance before the amendments were made in February and still seek to have your enterprise agreement assessed for compliance, please complete the Advice request/Letter of Compliance Form. As part of this process you will be requested to undertake a preliminary review of the enterprise agreement using the guidance material published on the ABCC website. This significantly streamlines the assessment process and makes your agreement much quicker to review.  

If you are currently in a tendering process and need a letter of compliance please call the ABCC Hotline on 1800 003 338 and our dedicated case manager will talk with you about your individual circumstances.

Guidance Material

The ABCC has published updated guidance material to help stakeholders consider whether enterprise agreements are compliant with the Code.

As stakeholders are aware, the guidance is in the form of a spreadsheet detailing the ABCC’s advice on the compliance of clauses from agreements that have been submitted by industry to the ABCC or the Department of Employment.  The spreadsheet contains examples of both compliant and non-compliant clauses. We have added an extra 380 new clauses which means the guidance material now contains over 1600 clauses. Please note there are some clauses that have been amended due to court outcomes or other decisions since we last published the guidance material. For further information please refer to the change history in the guidance material spreadsheet.

As well as providing the industry with immediate access to extensive advice from the ABCC on Code compliance, the guidance material has the additional benefit of streamlining the assessment process by allowing stakeholders to conduct a preliminary review of their agreement before submitting it the ABCC.

For further information, advice and assistance please visit our website www.abcc.gov.au, contact our hotline on 1800 003 338 or send an email to enquiry@abcc.gov.au.  

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Agreements Team – Australian Building and Construction Commission.