Changes to the Building and Construction Award from 1 July 2020

Law Review

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Changes to the Building and Construction Award from 1 July 2020

As part of the 4-yearly review of Modern Awards, the Fair Work Commission has made some significant changes to the Building and Construction General On-Site Award (the Award) which operate from 1 July 2020.

Members with interests in the construction sector should be aware of the following changes:

Allowances (clause 21.1)

·     Several special rates and allowances have been removed; and the industry allowance increased.

·     The Industry Allowance to compensate for disabilities has been varied depending on the sector of the industry in which you work as follows:

o   For Residential Building and Construction Industry, 4.8% of the weekly standard rate per week is payable in addition to the employee’s weekly rate; and

o   For General Building and Construction, Civil Construction and Metal and Engineering Construction Industry, 6% of the weekly standard rate per week is payable in addition to the employee’s weekly rate.

·     The industry allowance is part of the employee’s base rate of pay, so all classifications in the Award will be entitled to a higher minimum rate from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020, which in turn may impact on enterprise agreement covered employees.

Travel Allowances (clause 25)

·     Distant work (clause 25.3), travel outside radial areas (clause 25.5), into radial areas from a residence outside any radial area (clause 25.6) and between radial areas (clause 25.7) have been rewritten so that the fares and travel pattern allowance and other travelling time entitlements are simplified.

Rostered days off (clause 33.1)

·     Employers and employees may agree on when RDOs may be taken to provide more flexibility.

·     Employers have capacity to roster employee RDOs provided that a written roster is issued seven days in advance of the 20-day RDO work cycle.

·     Employees have capacity to bank RDO’s provided they do not exceed 5 days at any given time.

·     The prohibition of part-time employees working an RDO is removed.

·     Where an RDO has previously been fixed, an employee who works on that RDO is entitled to Saturday penalty rates and will also retain that RDO.

Casual and part-time employees

·     The daily ordinary working hours of part-time (clause 33.3) and casual employees (clause 33.4) shall not exceed 8 hours. Overtime penalty rates will be payable for any work exceeding 8 hours.

Time off instead of payment for overtime (clause 36.17)

·     New TOIL provision. An employer and employee may now agree to the employee accruing overtime worked and taking it as time off instead of overtime payment.

Annual leave loading (clause 38.2)

·     Annual leave loading will now be calculated on the employees’ ordinary hourly rate.


·     Altered rates for forepersons and supervisors (clause 43.2)

·     Soil, concrete and aggregate testing employees are no longer covered by the award.


Our experienced advisors are also here to answer your questions on what this decision means for you. Please reach out to our team on (02) 6295 3000 or email [email protected].