The Housing Industry Association (HIA) is celebrating the positive conclusion of a campaign designed to streamline Building Award allowances.
The campaign commenced four years ago in an attempt to convince the Fair Work Commission to simplify the allowances provided by the Building and Construction General Onsite Award. The Award currently features 11 pages of allowances, but the new system will help both businesses and employees ensure they are in compliance, says Melissa Adler, HIA's executive director – industrial relations and legal services.
"HIA has lobbied for reforms to simplify the Award for many years to make it less complex and to reduce administrative burden on businesses," says Adler.
"Now, in a win for HIA, the Commission has seen fit to simplify the system and has determined that people working in the residential building and construction industry will receive an allowance of 4.8 percent of the weekly standard rate on top of an employee’s weekly rate. This simplified allowance will remove the need for a business to work out whether an employee is eligible for any of the staggering 52 separate disability allowances that current exist."
These allowances cover everything from transport to an individual employee's need to perform certain duties on site.
"This decision is a great result for HIA and the housing industry. It is an important example of removing unnecessary red tape to achieve a good outcome for businesses and their employees. It will mean less complexity in the award system providing greater clarity and certainty for all," says Adler.
The changes are set to commence on January 1, 2020.
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