Legislation

You can help shape the Building Industry Fairness reforms

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The Queensland Government is currently implementing reforms to make the building and construction industry fairer by introducing changes to project bank accounts, progress payments, subcontractors’ charges, adjudication and Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR). 

The government is also asking for industry feedback in order to evaluate and review the reforms. The Building Industry Fairness Reforms Implementation and Evaluation Panel has been established for this purpose.

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Commencement of new security of payment laws

It’s now easier to get paid for construction work or related goods and services in Queensland. From 17 December 2018 elements of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) and amendments to the QBCC Act commence. 

What does this mean for you?

The BIF Act introduces changes to progress payments, adjudication and subcontractors charges. There are new requirements for payment claims (your regular invoices, progress payments or requests for payment) and payment schedules. This means that: 

Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR)

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The new Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR) Regulation will commence on 1 January 2019. The Regulation will operate alongside the current MFR policy, which was introduced in October 2014. These will support the security of payment initiatives within the building and construction industry. 

Under the new laws, QBCC licensees who hold a contractor grade licence will be required to meet annual financial reporting obligations. 

What do you need to do today?

If you are a licensee within financial categories self-certifying 1 (SC1) to Category 3:

Liability Period and retentions – head contractor and subcontractor responsibilities

From 17 December 2018, new requirements apply to the statutory defects liability period. 

If under a building contract:

  • a retention amount may be withheld; or
  • a security may be held after practical completion for the rectification of any defects in the building work

Any retention amounts or security must be released 12 months after practical completion if the contract  does not specify the defects liability period. 

What are the changes to legislation that will help me get paid?

From 17 December 2018, the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) can help you get paid for the work you do. The BIF Act replaces the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) and Subcontractor’s Charges Act 1975.

Please note: any payment claim served before 17 December 2018 will follow BCIPA for the recovery of payments.

It is an offence not to respond to a payment claim

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When you are given a payment claim (or invoice) you are required to either pay the claimed amount in full by the due date or issue a payment schedule within the response period. The response period is the earlier of the period specified in the contract or within 15 business days after receiving a payment claim.

You should never ignore a payment claim. Failing to respond is an offence under the BIF Act. It is also grounds for taking disciplinary action under the QBCC Act if you hold a QBCC licence.

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Its now easier to get paid for the work you do

Every day, individuals and organisations enter into contracts for building and construction – and sometimes disputes arise over payments.

The Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (known as the BIF Act) which commences on 17 December 2018 helps ensure that any person who carries out construction work or supplies related goods and services under a construction contract gets paid.