[2020] FWCFB 5353


Fair Work Act 2009
s.156—4 yearly review of modern awards

4 yearly review of modern awards—Construction Awards



4 yearly review of modern awards – finalisation of Exposure Drafts and variation determinations – Tranche 3 – Construction Awards.

[1] This Full Bench has been constituted to oversee the process for finalising the exposure drafts produced during the 4 yearly review of modern awards (the Review) and the consequent variation of each modern award. For that purpose, the modern awards were divided into 3 Tranches. This Statement deals with the following Tranche 3 awards, collectively referred to as the Construction Awards:

  Building and Construction (General) On-Site Award 2010 (Building Award);

  Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010 (Joinery Award);

  Mobile Crane Hiring Award 2010 (Mobile Crane Award); and

  Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 (Plumbing Award).

[2] In a decision published on 2 September 2019, 1 we outlined the process for finalising the exposure drafts and consequent variations of each award.

[3] On 29 January 2020, we issued a decision in relation to the finalising the exposure drafts in Tranche 3 awards (including the Construction Awards).2 Exposure Drafts 3 and draft variation determinations4 were issued with the decision. We expressed the provisional view that the variation of the modern awards in accordance with the published draft variation determinations was, in respect of each of the Tranche 3 awards, necessary to achieve the modern awards objective.

[4] Interested parties were invited to comment on our provisional view and on the Tranche 3 Exposure Drafts and draft variation determinations. On 20 February 2020, Master Builders Australia wrote to the Commission seeking an exemption from compliance with the Tranche 3 directions for the Construction Awards. 5 The basis for this request was that a number of matters in the Construction Awards were still before another Full Bench (AM2016/23) (the Construction Full Bench). This request was supported by the Housing Industry Association,6 the Australian Industry Group7 and the CFMMEU–Construction and General Division.8

[5] On 2 March 2020 we issued a Statement9 in relation to the Construction Awards in which we said that the Exposure Drafts and draft variation determinations for the Construction Awards would be re-published after the Construction Full Bench in AM2016/23 has issued final variation determinations.

[6] The determinations concerning the substantive issues for the Construction Awards were issued on 20 March 2020 and the amendments have now been incorporated into the draft variation determinations. 10

[7] Since that time, a number of other changes have been made to the Construction Awards and the following changes have also been incorporated into the draft variation determinations:

  the COVID-19 Award Flexibility Schedules Full Bench issued a decision 11 extending the operation of Schedule X until 29 March 2021 in the Building Award, the Joinery Award and the Mobile Crane Award.

  the award-specific National Training Wage Schedules in the Mobile Crane Awar d12 and the Joinery Award13 have been varied.

  The Payment on termination of employment clause in the Building Award, 14 the Mobile Crane Award15 and the Plumbing Award16 has been varied by the Payment of wages Full Bench.

  the words ‘Miscellaneous Award 2010’ have been replaced with ‘Miscellaneous Award 2020’ wherever they appear in the clause 25 in the Plumbing Award17

[8] Following the 2019–20 Annual Wage Review (2019-20 Review), 18 the minimum wages in the Construction Awards will be increased by 1.75 per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020. However, as the rates from the 2019-20 Review are not yet operative, the rates that will be published in the draft variation determinations will be the rates which currently apply (the 2018–19 Annual Wage Review rates). Expense-related allowances in these awards will be updated prior to 1 November 2020 following the finalisation of the relevant expense-related determinations. For further information regarding this process please see the Information Note– Method for adjusting expense-related allowances for the Annual Wage Review 2019-20.

Next steps

[9] Draft variation determinations will be published for each of the Construction Awards on 8 October 2020. Parties are directed to comment on the contents of the draft variation determinations by 4pm Thursday, 22 October 2020. Comments are to be sent to amod@fwc.gov.au in word copy.

[10] We propose to finalise the variation determinations on the papers.


Printed by authority of the Commonwealth Government Printer


 1   [2019] FWCFB 6077.

2 [2020] FWCFB 421.

 3   Building Award Exposure Draft, Joinery Award Exposure Draft; Mobile Crane Award Exposure Draft and Plumbing Award Exposure Draft.

 4   Building Award Draft variation determination, Joinery Award Draft variation determination; Mobile Crane Award Draft variation determination and Plumbing Award Draft variation determination.

 5   MBA correspondence, 20 February 2020.

 6   HIA correspondence, 20 February 2020.

 7   Ai Group correspondence, 20 February 2020.

 8   CFMMEU correspondence, 26 February 2020.

9 [2020] FWCFB 1079.

 10   Building Award PR715725 (corrections PR720483 and PR720565 issued 25 and 29 June 2020, respectively), Joinery Award PR715726 issued 20 March 2020; Mobile Crane Award PR715727 and Plumbing Award PR715728.

 11   [2020] FWCFB 5137.

 12   PR719629.

 13   PR719630.

 14   PR723313.

 15   PR719897.

 16   PR719901.

 17   PR720159.

 18   [2020] FWCFB 3500.