Fact sheets

About the ABCC

Examination powers

Information about when the ABC Commissioner has the right to use examination powers to seek information about a suspected contravention of a designated building law.

Our jurisdiction

The ABCC monitors and promotes compliance with the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act), designated building laws and the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code) by building industry participants.

Powers and functions of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

The ABC Commissioner has powers and functions under legislation to help promote better workplace relations for building work and to make sure that building work is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively. These functions include education and advice, investigation and enforcement.

Powers of Australian Building and Construction Inspectors

Australian Building and Construction Inspectors (ABC Inspectors) are appointed under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act (BCIIP Act).


Fact sheets

Building Code 2016

Understanding the Code

A summary of the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (the Code).

Freedom of association—logos, mottos and indicia

All employees and contractors have the right to join or not join a building association, whether a union or employer body. This is called freedom of association. Everyone has the right to freedom of association under the law.

Funding entity - procuring and funding building projects summary

Funding entity obligations for Commonwealth funded building work.

Funding recipient - procuring and funding building projects summary

Funding recipient responsibilities for Commonwealth funded building work.

Security of payment - State and Territory specific

In general terms, ‘security of payment’ refers to a building contractor’s right to receive payments that are due as outlined in their contract. For example, a head contractor must pay a subcontractor’s progress payments on time.

Building work under the Code

The Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Code) applies the definition of building work in the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act) with two exceptions.

Labour market testing

Information about the rules for employers who want to hire building workers who are from overseas.


Fact sheets

Rights and responsibilities

Unlawful coercion

Coercion in the building and construction industry is unlawful under provisions of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act) and the general protections provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act).

Get The Right Start

Make sure you’re aware of your rights and responsibilities when starting your career in the building and construction industry.

Going on strike—be informed of the risks

You will lose pay for going on strike.

Industrial action

Industrial action is primarily regulated under the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act). But industrial action in relation to building work is subject to more rules under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act).

Right of entry—what to do when a union official enters your site

Union officials do not have an automatic right to enter workplaces. The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) provides permit holders with a right to enter sites for particular purposes and requires that they do the following before entering a site:

Freedom of association in the building and construction industry

Freedom of association protections give employees and contractors the right to choose whether or not to join a union or industrial association.

Strike pay in the building and construction industry

The prohibition on the payment of strike pay under the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) also applies under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act).


Fact sheets

Easy to read and translated resources

Know your rights – Simplified Chinese – 简体中文

Easy to read information in Simplified Chinese.

Know your rights – English

Easy to read information, in English, to help all people understand their rights and how the ABCC can help them.

Know your rights – Arabic – العربية

Easy to read information in Arabic.

Know your rights – Hazaragi - هزارگی 

Easy to read information in Hazargi.

Know your rights – Korean – 한국어

Easy to read information in Traditional Chinese.

Know your rights – Traditional Chinese 繁體中文

Easy to read information in Traditional Chinese.