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2009 Information and Media Releases

July, 2009
Casual Workers
'Ordinary Pay ' for contributions in relation to workers employed on a casual basis means his base hourly rate including any allowance payable by the Employer in respect of tools and equipment required by the employee in the work but does not include:

(a) payment for overtime;

(b) disability allowance being any allowance payable to an Employee as a consequence of his working in specified circumstances, being circumstances that involve, or are likely to involve, special danger, hardship, or inconvenience to the Employee, except where it is reasonably to be expected that persons engaged in the type of employment in which the Employee is ordinarily engaged would be entitled to that allowance for the whole, or greater portion, of the time in which they are so engaged;

(c) if the Employee is expected to work away from the Employee's usual place of residence, the value of, or any payment in respect of, board and lodging;

(d) the value of, or any payment in respect of meals or refreshments;

(e) payment in respect of travel to or from, or in the course of Work;

(f) payment payable in respect of the use of a vehicle;

(g) payment payable by way of bonus;

(h) the percentage calculation for casual loading.

June, 2009
Self Employed Contribution Rate & Interest Rate 2009-2010

In June 2009 the Board set both the interest rate and contribution rate that will be applied to the self employed worker for the next financial year as follows:

The interest rate for the 2009-2010 financial year will be 0% due to the negative returns experienced in the market.

The contribution rate (the rate at which a self employed person can contribute into the scheme) remains at $156.00 or $182.00 per quarter for the 2009-2010 financial year (these rates are based on a weekly wage of $720.00 and $840.00 per week.)

May, 2009
Employer Contribution Rates
At its May meeting, the TasBuild Board reluctantly agreed to increase the “subsidised rate” of contributions for the State’s Construction Industry Long Service Scheme to 2 per cent of ordinary time weekly wages, effective from the October 2009 Return. The “Full Rate” remains unchanged at 2.5 per cent of ordinary time weekly wages.

The decision was taken following advice received from TasBuild’s actuary and auditor given the widely-publicised global financial crisis that has significantly impacted on the financial sector and business in general.

While I appreciate that you were previously advised that the “subsidised rate” would increase to one per cent from October 2009, since that advice the financial crisis has deepened significantly, a development that no one could have predicted.

The TasBuild Board was therefore left with little choice but to increase the rate further to ensure the scheme is able to meet current and future employee entitlements.

It is worth noting that while the subsidised contribution rate will increase to two per cent, the cost to TasBuild to fund long service leave is actually the equivalent of 2.5 per cent of weekly wages, and follows more than 10 years of heavily reduced employer contributions at various times of 0.7 per cent, 0.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent. It also represents the most cost-effective solution for employers.

The Board is mindful of the costs to employers and undertakes to ensure that contribution rates are held at the lowest level possible to meet the Fund’s obligations. The Board will monitor the situation and adjust the “subsidised rate” taking into account any changes to the financial market.

In closing, the Board has asked me to convey that while it was a difficult decision, it was made in the best interests of contributors and beneficiaries for the long-term benefit of the industry.

Chris Atkins
4 May, 2009
TasBuild Appoints New CEO

Mr Christopher Atkins, the past Executive Director of Master Builders’ Tasmania has been appointed as the CEO of TasBuild Limited. TasBuild is a trustee company that administers a unique fund that preserves the long service leave entitlements of construction industry workers.

Mr Atkins said; “I am excited to be appointed as the CEO of such a unique organization. Having been the Executive Director of Master Builders for the past nine years my new appointment will provide many new and different challenges and I am looking forward to the role.”

Long service in the construction industry, unlike other industry sectors is based on employment in the industry, not just to a single employer. Employers make regular contributions into the Fund and when an employee wishes to take their entitlement they make application to TasBuild who pay the employee. A unique concept that other industry sectors, their employers and their employees could benefit from.

TasBuild, as at 30 June 2008 had over $56 million in investments to meet the long service liabilities of over 15,400 construction industry workers in Tasmania.

“In the short term my focus will be to develop an understanding of the organisation’s culture, managing the investment portfolio and the significant impact the global financial crisis has had our returns. In the longer term I hope to continue the growth and industry support of the Fund and also explore the opportunities to expand this unique scheme into other industry sectors where employment is of a more itinerant nature. Employees and employers in these sectors are generally missing out on the significant benefits long service provides.” added Mr Atkins.

Mr Atkins is available for further comment on: Phone: 03 6233 5158
Mobile: 0458 891 839