• Fionna C Aitchison Reid, Director

Are you ready for a bit of BIF-O?


Please note that since this article was published, the Government had announced on 12 June 2018 that the security of payment and subcontractor’s charges chapters of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payments) Act 2017 (‘BIF’) that were due to commence on 1 July 2018 are now expected to commence on 17 December 2018.

The countdown has started to 1 July 2018, which marks the start of the new security of payment provisions of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (‘BIF’). The changes are significant.

So are you going to be ready?

Are you going to be trained, like a seasoned boxer ready for the new world of security of payment?

Or are you going to be knocked out in the first round by someone who understands the changes better than you?

The choice is yours.

The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the most significant changes – so that you can have your guard up poised for action. However, it is in no way intended to be a complete training session.

The low down

The major new change for subcontractors and trade contractors is that all invoices for construction work and related goods and services could potentially be payment claims.

Previously, you had a choice whether to use security of payment or not. Now there is virtually no choice.

This affects you in two ways:

  • Your invoices could be valid payment claims, which means that the protections plus the new time frames for security of payment are triggered instantly.

  • The invoices you receive from your suppliers and subcontractors are likely to be valid payment claims and you need to know how and when to respond with a payment schedule.

This means that BIF is not going just affect those who work in the commercial space, it is going to affect EVERYONE who contracts to buy construction work or related goods or services. That includes trade contractors that just work directly with home owners, who buy materials and subcontract out some of their work.

In addition:

  • This is security of payment, but not like we had previously known it. This means you cannot rely on your previous understanding of security of payment to see you through. Even basic concepts such as what is a payment claim and when to send a payment schedule have all changed.

  • There will be penalties under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 if you do not respond correctly and within time.

So what do you need to know

This is such a significant change to security of payment, that reading this article alone will not be enough. We recommend that anyone who is dealing with payment in the industry needs to at least attend one workshop or complete an online course.

Your business processes will be affected in at least the following ways:

  • How the payment terms in your contracts are going to affect you;

  • Receiving payment claims and responding and/or paying in time;

  • Sending paying claims and understanding how to send a valid payment claim;

  • Understanding the new time frames for adjudication; and

  • Understanding the new process for a debt due.

In the countdown to 1 July 2018 we will be regularly sending updates and reminders, but this will not be enough in this new world of security of payment.

We will also be providing online and workshop events:

#subcontractors #tradecontractors #suppliers #BIF #BuildingIndustryFairnessAct2017 #SecurityofPayment #workshop

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