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What are the changes to legislation that will help me get paid?

From 17 December 2018, the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act) can help you get paid for the work you do. The BIF Act replaces the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA) and Subcontractor’s Charges Act 1975.

Please note: any payment claim served before 17 December 2018 will follow BCIPA for the recovery of payments.

How does this affect me?

Payment claims (can be your usual invoice) will no longer need to include the endorsement “This is a payment claim made under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004” to make it valid.

A payment claim may be an invoice which:

  • Identifies the construction work or related goods and services
  • States the claimed amount
  • Requests payment

A respondent must either pay the claimed amount in full by the due date or provide a payment schedule within the response period. The response period is the earlier of the period specified in the contract or within 15 business days of receiving a payment claim.

There are increased consequences for not responding to a payment claim:

  • The maximum penalty for failing to pay the claimed amount in full by the due date or provide a payment schedule within the response period is 100 penalty units or the QBCC may take disciplinary action
  • The respondent no longer has a ‘second chance’ to give a payment schedule – if a payment schedule is not given to the claimant within the response period, the claimant can proceed to adjudication
  • If the respondent has not provided a payment schedule within the response period and the matter proceeds to adjudication, they are unable to submit an adjudication response.

What if someone claims I owe them money and I don’t agree?

If you are given a payment claim, you must respond by either:

  1. Paying the full amount by the due date, or
  2. Providing a payment schedule within the response period specified in the contract or within 15 business days after the payment claim is given (whichever is earlier).  

You don’t need to give a payment schedule if you pay the full claimed amount by the due date. 

It is now an offence to not respond to a payment claim. Even if you believe that a payment claim has been made in error, it is advised that you provide a payment schedule outlining your reasons for withholding payment.

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