FOR EMPLOYERS IN THE VICTORIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Welcome to our first CoINVEST News for 2022! It has certainly been a busy time as I settle into the CEO role and work with the team, planning the strategic direction of CoINVEST. Our strategic direction will have 4 key focus areas: member experience; people and culture; managing and administering the Fund; and systems, process and governance. These 4 focus areas demonstrate our commitment to building CoINVEST’s capacity and capability to provide a great member experience, whilst ensuring our people are engaged and have a great place to work, with a culture that enables us to achieve our strategic objectives, all with best practice processes, systems and a robust governance framework.
We are becoming a more member centric organisation, one that is focussed on purpose and values, with a strong commitment to not only our members but to the Victorian construction industry.
As part of the new strategic direction for CoINVEST, we are implementing a new organisational structure for success that sees us growing our Executive team; with David Lang recently commenced as our new General Manager Technology & Innovation, and Darren McConnell our new Chief Finance & Investment Officer and Carly Hendon our new General Manager People Culture, both starting in May. We have also ensured that our structure supports the future direction of CoINVEST by providing clarity around reporting lines and a focus on member experience, working together as one team.
As we adapt to living with Covid, staff will be returning to the office after Easter, moving to 3 days per week onsite. Having staff onsite again is important for not only the culture we are building at CoINVEST, but the many benefits to be achieved by working together – collaboration, team building, knowledge sharing, training and so on. All of these are essential as we embark on building the business for the future.
Whilst we continue to focus on getting through backlogs in missing service, arrears and adjustments, we have been hampered by a tight labour market to get people into roles to help us resolve these issues. Additional investment is being made to ensure our focus on a great member experience enables us to reduce the backlogs as quickly as we can.
As another example of our focus on a great member experience, we are also in the middle of implementing a new email platform, one that will enable us to improve the way in which we communicate with our members.
The number of long service leave (LSL) benefits paid YTD is our highest yet, at $112m at the end of February, representing 10,553 members who have taken the benefit of long service leave. It’s great to see our members using their LSL benefits for their wellbeing, taking a well-deserved break from the physical demands of their jobs and time to rejuvenate, spend time with family, and now being able to take a holiday after a long period where travel was not possible.
Over the coming months we’ll be able to make more exciting announcements about the work we are doing at CoINVEST to benefit our members and the construction industry. I look forward to being able to share some of these with you in our next news edition.
Chief Executive Officer, CoINVEST Ltd
As we move into the second quarter of 2022, let’s take a look at some of the key messages and big talking points from CoINVEST.
The January to March 2022 Workers Days and Wages (WDW) submission is now available for employers to complete on the CoINVEST Portal.
The due date for submission is 14 April 2022.
As the industry regulator and Trustee of the Construction Industry Long Service Leave Act 1997, CoINVEST applies strict legal and financial consequences for non-compliance relating to worker registration and return submission.
All employers should familiarise themselves with the requirements as an employer under the Act and the consequences of non-compliance at our Employer Obligations webpage.
If you require assistance or are unable to submit your WDW before the due date, please call our Member Assist team on 03 9664 7677 or 1300 COINVEST.
CoINVEST has been working hard to build a great experience for our members. We’ve listened to your feedback and invested in new platforms to bring our emails in line with your expectations. Say hello to our new member email address:
Going forward, we will be delivering important information and updates about the CoINVEST portable long service leave scheme from this email address. Save it to your contacts or safe list to ensure you don’t miss any important emails!
Feedback from our members has helped to highlight that we need to improve our turnaround times in resolving member queries. To improve the experience for members and increase efficiency around member queries, CoINVEST has been investing in our team capacity and capabilities.
While we work towards making improvements, there have been some challenges around recruitment – partly due to the tight labour market which is currently affecting many sectors.
Despite this, we are still forging ahead with plans to reduce several backlogs and improve our processes. This should allow faster processing and an overall better experience for members.
Like many other businesses in Victoria, CoINVEST was impacted by the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Despite still working remotely under State Government advice, many CoINVEST team members still caught the virus in January and February through spread in the general population.
As our team members recovered, we were left with reduced capacity to process claims for members. Despite our best efforts, the virus unfortunately had a direct impact on our productivity and we would like to extend our apologies to any members who were affected by delays in our claim processing times.
Thankfully we are now back up to speed and able to process the majority of claims within 3 business days from application to payment.
When you think of an industry dominated by men, construction would be one of the first that comes to mind. Women make up approximately 2.5% of tradies and on-site construction workers. And whilst there have been several attempts to increase female participation, rates have not changed meaningfully since the 1980’s. On the tail of International Women’s Day, we reflect on the intricacies of working toward gender equality in the construction industry to change this status quo.
Starting 1 January 2022, The Victorian Government’s new Building Equality Policy (BEP) aims to improve gender equality in the building, infrastructure, and civil engineering sectors, by mandating proportional representation to projects. The BEP applies to new government projects, and mandates female representation in at least three per cent of each trade role, seven per cent of each non-trade position and 35 per cent of management, supervisor and specialist labour roles.
The BEP also mandates that four per cent of labour hours for apprentices and trainees will be required to be performed by women. The Victorian Government has invested $3.5 million to support the implementation of the policy and a further $1.5 million for the delivery of medium and long-term actions from the Women in Construction Strategy 2019-22. But is this enough to disrupt the country’s most male-dominated industry? What more is needed to break down the barriers that stop women entering and staying in the construction industry?
The Women in Construction Strategy 2019-22, developed in partnership with the Building Industry Consultative Council, begins by recognising the significant inconsistency between the number of female students in construction arenas and the number of women employed in the industry. The strategy also recognises that in construction, women are in less-secure, low-paid positions, and that their prospect of career development is restricted. Finally, the strategy acknowledges that the low retention rate for women in construction is because they’re made to feel excluded. The strategy, in compliment to the BEP proposes that the industry must:
1. Attract more women
2. Recruit more women
3. Retain more women
The industry is not just comprised of government officials or strategists, however, and this change requires commitment and a diverse societal approach. Young females searching for career paths need to see role models and view construction as a viable career option. We are also starting to see more social media representation through popular grass-roots Instagram campaigns and groups such as Tradie Lady Club (@tlcbymcc) and Women In White Painters (@womeninwhitepainters) which raise the profile and visibility of women in construction trade roles.
Organisations such as The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and their Victorian arm advocate for change, educate and support women in construction on a national and state level. NAWIC strives to champion and empower women in construction and related industries to reach their full potential. NAWIC presents a plethora of opportunities for employers to get involved in supporting their programs through initiatives such as their Shadow Program, Mentoring Program, Sponsorships and jobs boards. This organisation alone presents some incredibly inspiring stories of women in construction contributing to the industry. Further information on NAWIC and their programs can be found on their website.
Employers can find information on recruitment, training and insights at http://www.womeninconstruction.com.au – here employers can also show support by registering for Job Support Services, to receive tailored recruitment assistance and benefit from a short list of job-ready women construction workers.
GPO Box 4368, Melbourne, VIC 3001
T 03 9664 7677
T 1300 COINVEST
T 03 9664 7690 (Interpreter service)