A new inspectorate on the block

Fair Work Building & Construction is your new industry workplace regulator

With the commencement of Fair Work Building and Construction on 1 June 2012, Australia’s building and construction industry has a new, independent workplace relations regulator.

FWBC will be visiting building sites across Australia over the coming months to provide advice and resources, and equipping both large and small businesses to easily comply with workplace laws.  As a specialist agency, FWBC is charged with regulating the workplace laws that govern building and construction.  The new agency educates people in the industry about federal workplace laws – and takes appropriate action against those who deliberately breach the law.

FWBC takes over the role previously performed by the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner.

“We want to make sure Australian building sites are fair and productive,” says FWBC Chief Executive Leigh Johns.

“Fair, in that the industry’s workplace relations must be harmonious and equitable, with freedom of association protected, and workers paid their full entitlements.

“Productive, in that we eliminate costly overruns and delays caused by unprotected industrial action and employers are supported to bargain for productivity.”

“It’s our job to answer any question you might have about your workplace rights and responsibilities, to make it easier for you to do business.”

The new agency has offices in every capital city, and a range of resources available at fwbc.gov.au to provide easy access to information about complying with federal workplace laws. The website covers topics including:

  • Right of entry to worksites;
  • Union membership;
  • Wages and entitlements;
  • Independent contracting; and
  • How to win Government work under the National Code.

Additionally, one-on-one advice with a Fair Work Building Industry Inspector is available between 7am and 7pm eastern standard time, 7 days a week, by calling 1800 003 338.

FWBC Chief Executive Leigh Johns added that while a lot of FWBC’s work will focus on assisting employers and employees to “get it right the first time”, the agency will also be well resourced to investigate — and prosecute — any breaches of workplace laws.

“FWBC will come down hard on those who engage in dubious practices such as coercion or sham contracting.

“We will vigorously prosecute unlawful conduct, and protect the rights of everyone in the industry—the right to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

“The agency will also be well placed to represent industry participants who are, or may become, a party to court proceedings, to promote compliance with relevant workplace laws.”

Mr Johns says he hopes the new agency will also be able to work closely with all building industry participants including employers, employees and unions, to bring about cultural change on Australian building sites.

“We are focused on the needs of the industry. We want to support a balanced framework for cooperative, productive and harmonious workplace relations in the building and construction industry,” said Mr Johns.

“Our education, advice and compliance services are targeted to support, and build, the capacity of the industry to be the best it can.

“FWBC will make sure the industry can attract strong investment, skilled workers and deliver vital national infrastructure. We want to help you to get on with the job.”

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