Tradies working on big federal government-funded construction projects would be guaranteed to get paid even when dodgy businesses involved in the project go bust, the Labor opposition has pledged.
Federal Labor has vowed to ensure the bank accounts for such projects are structured so that all businesses involved are paid on time, if it wins the next election.
The “tradie pay guarantee” requirements would apply to all large, commonwealth-funded construction projects.
Labor has also pledged to create a national framework to ensure no subcontractor or small business is left out of pocket by phoenix activity.
Such activity involves company directors allowing a business to fold to avoid paying debts such as employee entitlements, then setting up another one with similar functions.
The national framework would include a new process for handling disputes and laws supporting payment security.
Labor would also set up a $7 million fund to help the Australian Securities and Investments Commission take more phoenix activity cases to court, to help subcontractors get justice.
“These measures – along with previous commitments such as naming and shaming phoenix directors and increasing penalties associated with phoenix activity – will help protect Australian jobs and the economy,” Labor leader Bill Shorten said in a statement.