Master Builders Victoria continues to receive queries from a number of members covered by the CFMEU Pattern EBA 2016 – 2018 seeking clarification on the wage increase that applied as of 1 March 2019.
Members may recall from previous bulletins that the original version of the CFMEU 2016 – 2018 Agreement provided for a 3 per cent increase as of 1 March 2019. Those who hold the more flexible, code-compliant version of the 2016 – 2018 Agreement were required to provide a 5 per cent increase as of 1 March 2019. It is worth noting that the vast majority of CFMEU Pattern EBA 2016 – 2018 Agreements approved by the Fair Work Commission provide for the 3 per cent increase.
Members are reminded that for employers holding the original version of the CFMEU EBA 2016 – 2018 there is no obligation to provide a 5 per cent increase.
Employers holding the original version of the agreement cannot be coerced or discriminated against for failing to provide a 5 per cent wage increase. Under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016, maximum penalties for discrimination and coercion are $210,000 per breach for a body corporate and $42,000 for individuals.
In addition, members should note that the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (the Building Code) prohibits code covered entities from coercing other employers into making over entitlements payments. For example, coercing a subcontractor holding the standard agreement into paying a 5 per cent increase would be a breach of the Building Code.
Members seeking further information on their particular circumstances are encouraged to contact the IR department on (03) 9411 4560.