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Commonwealth Contracts – New Rules Now in Force

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The newly reinstated Australian Building and Construction Commission has highlighted the importance of contractors checking the status of their Enterprise Agreements.

From the start of this month – 1 September 2017 – contractors are disqualified from expressing interest in, tendering for or being directly awarded any Commonwealth funded building work if they or one of their related entities is covered by a non-compliant EA unless one of the specific exemptions applies.

The allowable exemptions include EA’s made before 25 April 2014 that have not been varied since then under section 207 of the Fair Work Act, and EAs made before 1 December 2016 that apply to the contractor or a related entity and relate to EOIs or tenders lodged before that date.

For full details of all allowable exemptions and compliance requirements, look here at the ABCC website.

The basic gist of the changes is contractors must now submit a either a specific self-declaration or an ABCC letter of compliance with lodging an EOI or tender for a government-funded project that gives evidence of the industrial relations arrangements that will apply for the work.

In other words – what rules are being used to determine everyone’s pay and conditions.

Contractors will also have to submit extra paperwork that affirms they and their related entities are not covered by non-compliant agreements. This includes a requirement to list every agreement that applies to the contractor and its related entities, and referencing the evidence for their compliance.

The ABCC advises that contractors lodging EOIs or tenders for Commonwealth projects should update documentation to include the new ABCC Model Clauses, and ensure all subcontractors have submitted the required evidence of eligibility.

Contractors that became Code Covered Entities following lodging an EOI or tender for Commonwealth funded jobs need to ensure all subcontractors are eligible under the new rules.

 

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