“The Government’s reintroduction of laws to ensure that worker entitlement funds have much needed safeguards is a welcome move for the building and construction industry and delivers a key election promise,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.
“The Fair Work Laws Amendment (Proper Use Of Worker Benefits) Bill 2019 is essential to address the concerning lack of proper rules and safeguards found in previous inquiries about how redundancy and leave funds operate,” she said.
“Workers in the building and construction industry deserve to know how their money is being used and that it will be used in their best interests,” Denita Wawn said.
“Most people will be surprised to know that although they hold billions in assets and funds, there are very few laws that ensure benefit funds are managed properly or used for the best interest of fund members,” Denita Wawn said.
“This opens the door for profits generated through investing workers money can skimmed off and used for whatever purpose the fund bosses want – and the workers have no right to know or even ask,” she said.
“The changes in this Bill will ensure workers who pay into the fund have more protections, can find out where their money is going, and make sure operators of funds are spending workers money in the right way,” Denita Wawn said.
“Master Builders supported the first iteration of this Bill and intend to work with Government to ensure the laws function properly and that the good work supported by these funds, such as training and welfare services, can continue,” she said.
“Without proper rules, corruption and illegal conduct can flourish. We supported the ABCC, ROC and corrupting benefits laws because they help tackle this culture that gives our industry a bad name, and these latest changes will help protect workers money and improve safeguards,” Denita Wawn said.