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Getting Paid on Time and for the Work Carried Out


It is important to get paid on time and for the work carried out so you can maintain a smooth operation of your business. Not getting paid on time may result in:

  • you being unable to make payments to your subcontractors,
  • disruption of cashflow in running your business,
  • you becoming liable to pay the interest on any overdue amount to your subcontractors or credit facility, and
  • reputational harm to your business.

Getting paid for variation work under your contract

Members are reminded to comply with their obligations under the contract for the work being carried out. In particular when claiming a variation under the contract. Members should identify any work that might be considered a variation before carrying out the work by checking the contract in the first instance in determining whether work constitutes a variation. If it is a variation, make sure to comply with the variation clause to serve any variation notices. Failure to comply with the variation clause(s) of a contract may result in you not getting paid for the additional costs that occurred.

Getting paid under the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2009 (ACT) (the SOPA)

SOPA provides a streamlined process for payment disputes. It is important to note that the SOPA regime does not apply to a construction contract for residential building work where the works are carried out for the occupant of the property. If you undertake building work for homeowners, you will not be able to utilise this regime.

SOPA applies to a person who carries out construction work in the ACT to allow for a claim to be made in relation to monies owed under certain construction contracts (whether verbal or in writing). This regime also prescribes the procedures and timeframes the parties must follow, such as:

  • when a payment claim must be made,
  • when a response must be provided to the payment claim,
  • what must be included in a payment claim, and
  • when can an application for adjudication be made.

If you need any assistance on contracts or payment disputes, please reach out to our Workplace Relations and Legal Team on (02) 6175 5900.