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Our experienced employment relations expert offers specialised services unique to Master Builders, providing members with comprehensive and tailored information.

Whether you need advice on subcontract arrangements, wages, employment conditions, or dispute resolution, we’ve got it covered.


  • Award wage rates, allowances and penalty payments
  • Redundancy and long service leave calculations
  • Unfair dismissal claims
  • Distinguishing between subcontractors and employees

Employment relations site management including on-site conditions, confidential auditing of wages, superannuation information, workers compensation, and industry award requirements.


  • Negotiation and development of enterprise agreements
  • Dealing with unions and staff
  • Dispute prevention, management and resolution

Employment advisory service covering award interpretation, recruitment, employment contracts, performance counselling and employment termination.


There is widespread practice in the building industry for workers to be engaged as contractors, rather than as employees. Understanding the differences between these two types of engagement is crucial for both independent contractors and their hirers to ensure the arrangement is lawful. The differences can affect matters such as:

  • Intellectual property ownership
  • Insurance requirements

The Independent Contractors Act 2006 provides a statutory definition of ‘independent contractor’ which reflects the common law test. In addition, the Fair Work Act 2009 includes laws to prevent sham contracts. Parties to sham contracts may incur civil penalties (fines) under these Acts.


Employers in Western Australia may be covered by either the Western Australian industrial relations system or the Federal industrial relations system depending upon the business structure of the employer.

Master Builders can identify into which system an employer fits and what the legal obligations are that apply under that industrial relations model.


Master Builders provides specialist and up-to-date advice on wages and allowances for members throughout Western Australia. We can assist you in:

  • Understanding modern and state awards
  • Ensuring apprentices and cadets are paid according to relevant award and legislative requirements
  • Complying with awards and industry rates
  • Calculating correct rates of payment for inclement weather and other allowances

If your questions are not answered by the information provided on our website, you can phone or email us for further advice and guidance.


Under the National Employment Standards (NES), as part of the Fair Work Act 2009, ten minimum legal standards apply to employees in the private sector, which cannot be reduced by awards or enterprise agreements. The standards may be supplemented or changed; however, the conditions cannot be less favourable to an employee when compared to the NES.

The ten standards are:

  1. Maximum weekly hours (38 hours, plus reasonable overtime)
  2. Right for parents to request flexible work arrangements
  3. Parental leave – 12 months unpaid for each parent (modified)
  4. Annual leave
  5. Personal/carer’s and compassionate leave (paid and unpaid)
  6. Community service leave (unpaid), including jury service (paid)
  7. Long service leave
  8. Public holidays
  9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  10. Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement for all new employees