The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is a body which provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws.

Adverse action is certain types of action that is unlawful if it is taken for particular reasons. The FW Act describes what types of action is adverse action.

Adverse action taken by an employer includes doing, threatening or organising any of the following:

  • dismissing an employee
  • injuring an employee in their employment
  • altering an employee’s position to their prejudice
  • discriminating between one employee and other employees
  • refusing to employ a prospective employee
  • discriminating against a prospective employee on the terms and conditions in the offer of employment.

The full meaning of ‘adverse action’ is described in section 342 of the FW Act.

Each financial year the Fair Work Commission's Expert Panel for annual wage reviews conducts an annual wage review, and issues a decision and national minimum wage order for employees not covered by an award or agreement. The decision and order generally come into operation on 1 July of the following financial year.

The annual wage review directly affects employees in the national system who are either:

  • covered by a modern award or a transitional instrument
  • not covered by either an award or an agreement.

An apprenticeship is a type of formal training arrangement that combines work with study for a qualification. These arrangements have to be registered with an appropriate state or territory training authority. Apprenticeships allow you to study for a trade qualification, for example as a carpenter or plumber. It will take approximately 3-4 years to complete an apprenticeship.


Base rate of pay is a term which refers to an employee’s rate of pay for an entitlement under the National Employment Standards. The base rate of pay is the rate of pay payable to the employee for his or her ordinary hours of work, but does not include any of the following:

  • Incentive-based payments and bonuses
  • Loadings
  • Monetary allowances
  • Overtime or penalty rates
  • Any other separately identifiable amounts.

A building contractor is a person who has entered into, or who has offered to enter into, a contract for services under which the person either:

  • carries out building work
  • arranges for building work to be carried out.

Building industry participant means any of the following:

  • a building employer
  • a building employee
  • a building contractor
  • a person who enters into a contract with a building contractor under which the building contractor agrees to carry out building work or to arrange for building work to be carried out
  • a building association
  • an officer, delegate or other representative of a building association.

The BCIIP Act gives a relatively broad definition of 'building work'. It covers a number of things:

  • Any of the following activities when relating to buildings, structures or works that, permanently or not, form (or are to form) part of the land:
    • construction
    • alteration
    • extension
    • restoration
    • repair
    • demolition
    • dismantling.
  • The same activities listed above, when relating to railways (not including rolling stock) and docks.
  • The installation of fittings in any building, structure or works that form (or are to form) part of land, such as:
    • heating
    • lighting
    • air-conditioning
    • ventilation
    • power supply
    • drainage
    • sanitation
    • water supply
    • fire protection
    • security
    • communications systems.
  • Any operation that is part of any of the work described above, including:
    • site clearance, earth-moving, excavation, tunnelling or boring
    • the laying of foundations
    • the erection, maintenance or dismantling of scaffolding
    • the on-site prefabrication of made to-order components to form part of any building, structure or works
    • site restoration, landscaping or the provision of roadways and other access works.
  • Transporting or supplying goods to be used in any of the work described above directly to building sites.

The Code applies the definition of building work in the BCIIP Act with two exceptions. The following types of building work are not subject to the Code:

  • the off-site prefabrication of made-to-order components to form part of any building, structure or works, unless that work is performed on an auxiliary or holding site that is separate from the primary construction site or sites.
  • the transportation or supply of goods to be used for any of the work mentioned above (in the BCIIP Act definition of 'building work'), directly to building sites (including any resources platform) where that work is being or may be performed.

Under the FW Act, a worker is bullied at work if:

  • a person or group of people repeatedly act unreasonably towards them or a group of workers
  • the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Unreasonable behaviour includes victimising, humiliating, intimidating or threatening behaviour. Whether a behaviour is unreasonable can depend on whether a reasonable person might see the behaviour as unreasonable in the circumstances. Behaviour will not be considered bullying if it is reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.


Casual loading is a higher hourly pay rate that is paid to casual employees than equivalent full-time or part-time employees. It is paid because casual employees usually don't get benefits such as sick or annual leave.

The CFMMEU is the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.

A code covered entity is a building contractor or building industry participant that has submitted an expression of interest (EOI) or tender (howsoever described) for Commonwealth funded building work on or after 2 December 2016, and therefore become subject to the Building Code 2016.

Commonwealth industrial instrument means any of the following:

  • an award or transitional award (within the meaning of the FW Transitional Act)
  • a workplace agreement (within the meaning of the FW Transitional Act)
  • a pre‑reform certified agreement or a pre‑reform AWA (within the meaning of the FW Transitional Act)
  • an order of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission or the FWC
  • the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard (within the meaning of the FW Transitional Act)
  • a fair work instrument (within the meaning of the FW Act)
  • the National Employment Standards (within the meaning of the FW Act).


The FW Act is the Fair Work Act 2009.

According to the Code, each of the following is a funding entity:

a) A non-corporate Commonwealth entity as defined in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

b) A corporate Commonwealth entity as defined in the PGPA Act that is directed by the Minister for Finance to comply with the Building Code 2016.

A ‘funding recipient’ refers to any entity to which the Commonwealth provides funding or assistance for building work that’s covered by the Code.  Generally, a funding recipient is a state or territory government.

Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) was the building industry regulator from 1 June 2012 until 1 December 2016. On 2 December 2016 the ABCC commenced, replacing FWBC.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal. It is an independent body with power to carry out a range of functions under the FW Act.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) promotes harmonious, productive and cooperative workplaces. They help employees, employers, contractors and the community to understand and comply with Australia's workplace laws. They provide information and advice, investigate workplace complaints and enforce Commonwealth workplace laws.


A greenfields agreement is an enterprise agreement that is made in relation to a new enterprise of the employer or employers before any employees are employed in the new enterprise. This can either be a single enterprise agreement or a multi-enterprise agreement. The parties to a greenfields agreement are the employer (or employers in a multi enterprise greenfields agreement) and one or more relevant employee associations (usually a trade union).


A multi-enterprise agreement is made between two or more employers (that are not all single interest employers) and employees employed at the time the agreement is made and who will be covered by the agreement.


OHS is Occupational Health and Safety, sometimes known as Workplace Health and Safety or WHS.


The Privacy Act is the Privacy Act 1988.

The Fair Work Commission can make a protected action ballot order as a result of a protected action ballot application being made. A protected action ballot to authorise industrial action must be undertaken before industrial action can be lawfully taken, except where the action is in response to industrial action by the other party in enterprise bargaining.
An application for ballot must:

  • be made by one or more bargaining representatives of an employee who will be covered by a proposed enterprise agreement which is not a greenfields or multi-enterprise agreement
  • not be made more than 30 days before the nominal expiry date of any existing agreement
  • if the applicant wishes someone other than the AEC to conduct the ballot (called a ballot agent), specify the name of that person.


Under the 2016 Code, an entity is a related entity of a code covered entity if the second entity is engaged in building work and is either:
• connected with the code covered entity by being a member of the entity
• an associated entity (within the meaning of section 50AAA of the Corporations Act 2001) of the code covered entity.

The Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report was published following the inquiry led by Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.


Under the FW Act, sexual harassment is:

  • an unwelcome sexual advance
  • an unwelcome request for sexual favours
  • other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person. This includes making written or verbal statements of a sexual nature to, or in the presence of, another person.

A single-enterprise agreement is made between a single employer (or two or more single interest employers) and employees employed at the time the agreement is made, and who will be covered by the agreement. Single interest employers are employers that are in a joint venture or common enterprise or are related corporations. They can also be employers authorised as single interest employers by the Fair Work Commission, which may be either franchisees or other employers where the Minister for Employment has made a declaration.


A WRMP is a Workplace Relations Management Plan.