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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Modern Award changes – Fact Sheet 6 – Tool allowance

The Fair Work Commission (Commission) has confirmed changes to the Building and Construction General Onsite Award 2010 (Onsite Award) will commence from 1 July 2020. HIA recommends you consider the changes as some will have an immediate effect on your employee’s terms and conditions.

Allowance for tools of the trade

Clause 20.1 of the Onsite Award provides a tool allowance in recognition of a tradesperson’s provision and maintenance of their standard tools of trade. The Commission has determined that the clause will largely remain the same but with some minor amendments effective from 1 July 2020.

Frequently asked questions regarding tool allowances

Have the circumstances in which the tool allowance is payable changed?

No. Your employees who have been eligible for tool allowance will continue to be eligible for the allowance. The tool allowance is payable to trades at a set value per week, which is subject to annualised increases by the Commission. 

What has changed in Clause 20.1?

The changes: 

  • clarify that the tool allowance is payable on the basis that the identified tradespersons generally maintain and provide the standard tools of trade
  • remove the overly prescriptive, arbitrary and potentially outdated lists of tools not covered by the tool allowance, and replaces it with a general employer obligation to provide or reimburse for the provision by the employee of tools other than the standard tools of the trade
  • establish a general obligation for the employer to provide or reimburse for the provision of the employee of protective clothing or equipment, in lieu of current provisions which are over-prescriptive and potentially outdated
  • maintain the current general prescription with respect to safety boots
  • remove the provision concerning clothing for mess personnel, which we consider to be substantially outdated and overly-prescriptive, and better dealt with by a general prescription concerning clothing, and
  • removes the clearly outdated provision concerning reimbursement for X-ray expenses.

This information is part of a series of updates on the Modern Award changes aimed at assisting members understand the requirements. More information can be found in the articles in the ‘What to read next’ section. 

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

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