ACT Government shouldn’t prematurely target contractors says electrical industry
NECA acting chief executive of ACT operations Mr Barry Dawson, says that although sham contracting exists to some degree in the building and construction industry, it would be premature for the ACT Government to recommend changes to the Fair Work Act until the independent building industry regulator completes further research into the actual occurrences and causes of sham contracting.
“The Australian Building and Construction Commission has called for tenders to conduct further research to obtain an accurate evidence based picture of sham contracting in the building and construction industry and until this is completed it would be premature to make any recommendations,” Barry says.
“NECA strongly opposes sham contracting and illegal employment practices. However, true independent contractor and legitimate labour hire arrangements in the ACT should not be impacted by the ACT Government’s proposed amendments to the Fair Work Act.”
The electrical industry’s concern comes after ACT industrial relations minister Chris Bourke announced that the Government is focusing on sham contracting and attempting to place more obligations on employers as part of their review into federal workplace relations legislation.
“There are already adequate provisions in the current Fair Work Act and other legislation to stamp out sham contracting. Rather than impose further regulation and obligations on employers in the electrical industry, NECA would like to see Governments at all levels focus on educating employers and employees on the existing framework,” Barry says.
“The current framework is sufficient and once the independent research is undertaken, a clearer picture on the causes and level of genuine sham contracting will emerge. At this point in time, an education campaign can be developed to stamp out sham contracting and ensure legitimate contracting arrangements are not damaged.”