In brief

  • The Victorian Government has released draft Industrial Relations Guidelines (IR Guidelines).
  • If implemented, the draft IR Guidelines will apply on Victorian government building and construction projects. 
  • The draft IR Guidelines aim to reform behaviour on Victorian building sites through:
    • increasing compliance with workplace laws
    • improving safety standards, and 
    • decreasing the instance of unlawful industrial activity whilst maintaining freedom of association.
  • Once finalised, compliance with the IR Guidelines will be a condition of tendering for or contracting to perform state government project works.
  • The draft IR Guidelines are open to public comment until 28 October 2011.

Introduction

Further to Freehills’ article of June 20111, the Victorian Coalition Government has released the draft of its new IR Guidelines for public comment2.

The draft IR Guidelines are modelled on the National Guidelines and will be part of the Victorian Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry, replacing the current IR Principles.

Objectives of the IR Guidelines

The IR Guidelines are designed to achieve behavioural change across Victorian building sites through:

  • increasing compliance with workplace laws,
  • improving safety standards,
  • decreasing the instance of unlawful industrial activity, and
  • promoting freedom of association.

Once finalised, compliance with the IR Guidelines will be a condition of tendering or contracting for State Government projects.

Requirements of the draft IR Guidelines

The draft IR Guidelines include requirements for tenderers/contractors to3:

  • comply and demonstrate past compliance with legislation, court and tribunal orders, and industrial instruments
  • submit a workplace relations management plan for the project, which demonstrates (in a variety of ways) their ability to meet the objectives of the project
  • demonstrate their capacity to deliver the relevant project on time and within budget
  • focus on resolving disputes or grievances at the enterprise level at the earliest opportunity
  • demonstrate that they encourage best practice and the promotion of the highest safety standards, and
  • adopt policies that promote freedom of association.

The draft IR Guidelines establish a Monitoring and Compliance Unit, which is tasked with monitoring compliance with the Guidelines and receiving reports of alleged breaches.

Public comment

If tendering and contracting for public works is part of your business, you may be interested in reading the full draft of the IR Guidelines and making a submission.

The draft IR Guidelines are open for public comment until 28 October 2011.