The Business Council of Australia supports the draft guidelines as a key measure that will help reduce construction costs, maintain good workplace relations and promote construction sector productivity.
The guidelines maintain a focus on improving construction sector productivity, while at the same time ensuring that workplace health and safety is of the highest standard (and improving) and ensuring employee terms and conditions are protected.
The New South Wales guidelines will protect the benefits of previous federal government reforms to building and construction sector regulation – including previous versions of the Commonwealth guidelines – that have subsequently been wound back.
The BCA makes the following specific recommendations in relation to the draft guidelines:
- financial thresholds (such as the value of construction projects to which the guidelines apply) should be aligned wherever possible with the thresholds in the Victorian Government Implementation Guidelines to the Victorian Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry
- the scope of the guidelines should be extended so that they apply to privately funded work once a contractor has expressed an interest in undertaking public work, consistent with the approach taken in the Australian Government Implementation Guidelines for the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry (the Commonwealth guidelines)
- a period of at least three months notice should be given if the NSW Government decides to bring the guidelines into force, and enterprise agreements made prior to the implementation of the guidelines should be deemed compliant
- the operation of the guidelines should be reviewed after 18 months of operation to ensure its costs are commensurate with the benefits.
The submission draws on a report by the Allen Consulting Group titled ‘Economic Impact of Construction Industrial Relations Arrangements and Investment in Infrastructure: A New South Wales Perspective’.
Download the BCA Submission regarding the Industrial Relations Implementation Guidelines to the New South Wales Code of Practice for Procurement: Building and Construction, and the Allen Consulting Group report, via the links below.