Master Builders Australia has highlighted the complexity and the need for user friendly construction industry award with the release of the sixth edition of its Modern Award Manual.

“The Manual analyses the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 on a clause-by-clause basis. Updated annually from 1 July for the Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage decisions, it also provides links to key interpretations by the Fair Work Commission, the Fair Work Ombudsman and interpretations that are only accessible because of the history of a provision,” Richard Calver, Master Builders Australia’s National Director of Industrial Relations and Legal Counsel said.

“The important matter for employers to understand is that the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010, together with the NES, set the minimum standards for all employees in the building and construction industry, despite that meaning they have to go through an out of date, overly long document just to understand their employee’s entitlements,” Richard Calver said.

“Even those employees on enterprise agreements must be on terms which are ‘better-off overall’ when compared to the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010.  For this reason, all employers in the building and construction industry need to have a solid understanding of the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 and the NES,” Richard Calver said.

The publication provides employers with comprehensive and up-to-date guidance on the primary modern award for the building and construction industry – the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010.

A companion publication, the National Employment Standards (NES) Booklet as modified by the On-Site Award, is also available.

“This edition is an essential workplace relations guide for employers, helping them negotiate a maze of over 60 separate allowances and a cut-and-paste collection of antique provisions, particularly about outdated work health and safety issues. The Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 can be a real headache for employers,” Richard Calver said.

“The latest edition reinforces our disappointment with the Productivity Commission, in its draft report on workplace relations, recommending the retention of awards as part of the safety net,” he said.

“Master Builders’ position is that there is no need for two safety nets: that providing fairness does not come from the form in which the safety net is delivered. It’s that simple, whereas modern awards for the building and construction industry are far from simple,” Richard Calver said.

“This edition of the Modern Award Manual has been substantially expanded given the volume of litigation underway,” he said.

“It promises to become even more relevant after 2016 when the modern award review 2014 will finally extend to the industry specific instruments.” Richard Calver said.

The Modern Award Manual and the NES publication may be purchased from Master Builders Australia.