News & Views

8th May 2017

Security of Payments reforms are critical

08 May 2017

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has constructed a detailed submission to the Federal Government’s review of security of payments laws in the building and construction sector.  The review, announced by the Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash in December 2016, is led by John Murray AM and seeks to address the significant differences in approach to present laws across Australia’s states and territories that impact upon protections for sub-contractors.  

“Security of Payments legislative reforms are of critical importance for NECA members and the wider industry,” said NECA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Suresh Manickam. 

“We have called for the harmonisation of the creditor line process across Australia for many years, so that our electrical contractors are not disadvantaged from the collapse of a construction company. Our members are typically small and medium-sized electrical contractors who are particularly susceptible to cash flow issues,” said Mr Manickam.

“As a finishing trade, electrical contractors are often the last in the line of credit to receive payment for work completed in the event of a construction company collapse, yet arguably provide the highest value inputs of all sub-contractors by way of fixtures, fittings and labour.”

NECA’s submission to the review highlights the following priorities:

 

  • Appropriate timeframes to ensure timely outcomes such as a default payment period of 10 business days;
  • The establishment of Payment Withholding Requests and Retention Money Trust Accounts across all states and territories;
  • Allowing a final chance to make a claim following a contract’s termination; and
  • Enhancing the ability of sub-contractors to claim retention monies – by extending the time limit beyond the normal limitation period to 12 months.

 

“Harmonisation of the various Security of Payments regimes around Australia should be beneficial, particularly in terms of reducing administrative and compliance costs imposed on businesses.”

 

“NECA also believes that appropriate penalties and enforcement are also essential to address the present, widespread practice of sub-contractor intimidation to deter them from exercising their rights under existing Security of Payments laws.”

 

Our submission to the Security of Payments review can be found here.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media enquiries and interviews

Barry Jackson – National Marketing and Communications

E barry.jackson@neca.asn.au

D 02 9962 6904

M 0457 767 328

 

Notes for editors

 

  1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
  2. NECA is run by electrical contractors, for electrical contractors.
  3. We have 5,000 contracting companies as members – and they in turn employ over 50,000 people Australia-wide.
  4. NECA employs almost 350 people across its seven chapters (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia).
  5. The chapters provide NECA members with a range of services including: Industrial Relations, Health & Safety, Legal, Technical, Training, business-support services, product discounts and advocacy representation in Canberra with Government, Industry bodies and Training bodies.
  6. NECA wholly-owns its RTOs and GTOs in NSW, VIC & WA, the EcoSmart Electricians initiative and ACRS – one of the national cabling registrars, and has a joint venture with a superannuation company in NSW (NESS Super).
  7. NECA also employ around 2,000 apprentice electricians and provides training to a further 2,000.
  8. For further information go to www.neca.asn.au.

 

 

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