Parliament recently passed the following amendments to the Construction Industry Long Service Leave Act. The changes to the Act came into operation on 1 January 2013.
State and Federal Awards listed in Schedule 1 of the Act have been replaced with their Modern Award equivalent.
- Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010
- Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010
- Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010
- Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010
One of the tests used to determine if the Act applies to a worker is that one of these awards must prescribe a weekly rate of pay for the kind of work performed. The Board provided the industry with
an assurance that this amendment would not increase or reduce coverage with the scheme. A new schedule 5 states the Act will not apply to a worker who was not covered under the former state and federal awards listed in schedule 1 prior to this amendment.
A further amendment ensures the Act does not apply to workers in the civil construction industry as defined in the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 unless the worker is employed in building work that predominantly involves working on structures within the meaning of the Act. This maintains the status quo of previous coverage.
Optional coverage of certain off-site classifications of workers in the terrazzo or concrete casting industries continues to be available, however reference is now made to the relevant modern awards.
The predominance rule is used as another test to determine if the Act applies to a worker.
The Act has been amended to remove ambiguity from its interpretation and to ensure workers that work predominantly in the construction industry are covered.
Levy Rate Determination
Each financial year, an actuary appointed by the Board conducts an investigation of the Fund and recommends a levy rate.
Under the amended Act the Board will have the power to set the levy rate within the 0% to 3% range.
Such action will be preceded by the Board advising the Minister for Industrial Relations of its intention to vary the rate.