30 March 2020
Your latest regular update. New social distancing and hygiene resources are now available for use on sites and to keep workers safe.
This COVID-19 member update is unlocked and free to all in the interests of the building and construction industry. Did you know members have exclusive access to information and our team of experts who are on hand to assist in a range of ways? Need more specific COVID-19 advice relating to contracts, WHS, employment conditions or the relief measures? Members can contact us or learn how to join so you can speak with our experts and get free advice.
Social distancing & hygiene resources available
With the fate of the industry staying open and the health of your workers relying so heavily on meeting social distancing and hygiene requirements, we've developed a new poster to download and print. You can also print the Keeping your distance checklist to help ensure you are meeting the guidelines.
We have also confirmed that the two person limit announced on Sunday 29 March is only relevant to those moving about within the community and does not apply to those going to work (including construction sites). The normal social distancing and hygiene rules apply.
By following these measures, we'll be able to stay open and keep as many jobs and workers safe - so let’s do it together.
General focus on safety
While it's natural for everyone to be focusing on social distancing and hygiene practices, your normal safety practices can't fall by the wayside.
Please make sure you are still managing safety in accordance with your usual management plans, processes, SWMS and legislation. Make sure your workers are still adequately supervised and you are regularly communicating with them about their normal general safety obligations.
Remember, even though we are working through a pandemic, you and your workers still have safety obligations under the safety legislation and these are still enforceable. Whilst we want to make sure we are sending our workers home virus-free, we also want them to go home injury free, too.
Insolvency rules change
For companies in financial distress there has been a temporary change to the rules. The threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand for payment has been increased to $20,000 and the time allowed for a response has been increased to six months.
There is also temporary relief for directors from personal liability for trading while insolvent and more flexibility in the rules under the Corporations Act 2001 are expected to be introduced.
It remains our number one priority to keep construction as an essential service for as long as possible.
There has been conflicting information circulating regarding which children are eligible to attend school this week. CEO Grant Galvin has confirmed with the Queensland Education Minister, Grace Grace, that 'essential workers' are anyone with a job. Rest assured, if you are a construction worker on a job site, you are eligible to send your children to school this week.
It's encouraging and some good news in the wake of this crisis, to see that government is delivering on their promise. We are waiting on the federal government's imminent announcement regarding wage subsidies. This will be another vital measure that will allow businesses to keep staff employed.
Our ‘keep the industry open’ message is all about saving jobs in the short, medium and long-term.
Information you need
We've got the information you need on:
- Contractual information for site shutdown or program delays
- How to deal contractually with a product delay
- Safety & hygiene practices
- Employment conditions
- Common employment FAQs
- Relief and stimulus packages
- Mental health and well-being
Help and advice
As usual, our staff are here to help. Whether you've got a question about protecting your business contractually, an employment or a health and safety question, our specialists are here and available to talk you through the options - get in touch.