FOR EMPLOYERS IN THE VICTORIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Welcome to CoINVEST News. Victoria’s construction industry has relied on us since 1976 to administer the portable long service leave Scheme. We have navigated a lot of change in the industry over that time. Now, we’re excited to announce a change of our own. In August, we will launch our new experience and identity under the name LeavePlus.
The Scheme has been known as CoINVEST since 1992, but we know from feedback that the name ‘CoINVEST’ hasn’t been clear in communicating our purpose or what we do. Refreshing our visual identity and changing our name to LeavePlus offers a renewed opportunity for our members to connect with the benefits of the Scheme and allows us to communicate more effectively around the vital role that portable long service leave plays in our industry. The ‘Plus’ refers not only to how our members accumulate their service from role to role, but also communicates the additional value which we will be providing to the industry through new member value programs and services.
Over the coming weeks we will be communicating with our members via email to keep everyone informed in advance of the LeavePlus launch in mid-August. We have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to assist any members who have specific queries about the transition from CoINVEST to LeavePlus.
In addition to preparing for the transition to LeavePlus, we have also commenced a transformation project to modernise our processes and systems. Modernisation will also take on a more tangible form, as we will soon be undertaking a refurbishment of our building at 478 Albert St to revitalise our working environment. With our strategic focus on technical modernisation, we are ensuring that the Scheme will continue to meet the needs of an evolving industry well into the future.
Empowering the Scheme to achieve its strategic goals is underpinned by the dedication of our Board of Directors. Recently, we completed our Director elections for our employer and worker members. We congratulate Paddy McCrudden and David Newnham on their reappointments as Directors. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Arron Harris for his time on the Board as he finishes his term on 30th June, replaced by Chris Patterson from the ETU who starts on 1st July. The performance of the Fund also continues to provide a strong financial foundation for the Scheme, producing a year-to-date return of 7.22% as at 31 May. This positive performance is driving us closer to another significant milestone, with the Fund fast approaching the $2 Billion mark.
We’re proud that CoINVEST has been there to support members of the construction industry to take their well-earned break using their portable long service leave. Now, we’re proud to take that commitment into the future with a new name and a new and improved experience for our members as LeavePlus.
CEO, CoINVEST Limited
As we prepare for the transition to LeavePlus, let’s take a look at some of the key messages and current talking points.
The April to June 2023 Workers Days and Wages (WDW) submission is now available for employers to complete on the CoINVEST Portal.
The due date for submission is 14 July 2023.
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.
Over the coming weeks we will be communicating with our members via email to keep everyone informed in advance of the LeavePlus launch in mid-August. We know you will have lots of questions about the transition from CoINVEST to LeavePlus, so we created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page to help guide you. You can also add email@example.com to your contacts or safe list to ensure you stay in the loop with what’s happening.
Refreshing our visual identity and changing our name to LeavePlus offers a renewed opportunity for our members to connect with the benefits of the Scheme and allows us to communicate more effectively around the vital role that portable long service leave plays in our industry. The ‘Plus’ refers not only to how our members accumulate their service from role to role, but also communicates the additional value which we will be providing to the industry through new member value programs and services.
CoINVEST is partnering with RMIT University to deliver articles and insights from around the construction industry. Here we take a look at the relationship between physical pain and mental health in construction roles with Assoc Prof Michelle Turner, from the School of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University.
Research was conducted by RMIT to understand Australian construction workers’ experiences of bodily pain and its association with mental health. We collected information from construction workers who undertook manual roles and were involved in direct construction activity. We invited participants to complete a short survey and interview. The survey data enabled us to measure mental health and bodily pain and establish how they are related. The interview data enabled us to explore why there was a relationship between mental health and bodily pain. Participants in the study included carpenters, plumbers, labourers, electricians, plasterers, and scaffolders.
Our findings reveal that the construction workers experienced body pain and injury originating from work tasks and accepted this as an inevitable consequence of their work. The proportion of participants’ rating their ability to undertake physical tasks as being ‘very good’ steadily declined with age. Importantly however, it was not only older workers who experienced pain. Some workers from the 20-29 and 30-39 age groups regularly experienced pain:
– 17.6% of participants aged 20-29 years experienced lower back pain and joint pain in the fingers, shoulders, hips, knees, and/or ankles daily.
– 13.3% of participants aged 30-39 years experienced lower back pain daily.
– 16.7% of participants aged 30-39 years experienced daily joint pain in the fingers, shoulders, hips, knees, and/or ankles.
Our results suggest that the association between pain and mental health is complex. The experience and anticipation of pain is shaped by the physical demands of the job, perceived low levels of work control and autonomy, and the aging process. Pain can trigger various pressures and stressors for the worker which may lead to diminished mental health. Some of these psychological demands include;
– The pressure to stay fit in the face of imminent pain and injury, and
– Feeling trapped in a job that causes pain and distress because of no perceived alternative employment pathways.
During the interview participants shared their experiences:
“My father actually did this [roof plumber] for 47 years. And he’s nearly 70 now and he can hardly walk. He can’t use his hands anymore. What else can’t he do? He gets gout bad and he’s got arthritis in his fingers. So, that’s what I’ve got to look forward to” – Roof plumber, 45 years old.
“I have some issues with my neck, shoulders, shoulder blades and ribcage area. So, all my muscles kind of lock up every month. So, I get treatment usually once a month and if it’s really bad, I’ll probably get two or three treatments in the one-week period” – Technician, 43 years old.
Our interview findings also revealed that the experience of bodily pain has a negative impact on the work-life balance of construction workers, as pain can prevent workers from participating successfully in family life and in social and leisure activities. For example, one of the participants shared his experience:
“I don’t really go out and have a drink with my friends and whatnot anymore, and when the pain’s quite bad I don’t really want to leave the house at all. The social side of things really probably gets impacted quite heavily and I think that’s definitely not good for me. I tend to get a bit wound up in my own mind” – Carpenter, 29 years old.
Implications for practice
Given the high prevalence of pain and injury in the construction workforce and the resultant physical pain-mental health interaction, it is probable that many workers unknowingly experience poor mental health. This is illustrated by a participant who was asked how his physical pain affected his mental health: “I’ve never thought about the mental side of it. I mean obviously it gets me”. Due to a lack of awareness of the link between physical pain and mental health, construction workers may not be mindful of their own diminished mental health, nor may they seek the support and treatment they require.
Work programs designed to promote mental health should not be considered in isolation of the broader work environment. Instead, workers’ health should be considered holistically and interventions should focus on the work characteristics which lead to physical and mental strain.
Raising awareness among workers of the impact of physical pain on mental health is important. Resources relating to pain management may assist workers to be proactive in preventing and managing pain, but it is also important to fully appreciate the links between pain and mental health in manual construction workers.
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common work-related conditions in Australia and are associated with hazardous manual tasks and poorly designed work. Risk factors associated with work-related MSDs include repetition, force required, awkward posture, vibration, and contact stress, all of which are physical risk factors inherent in manual, non-managerial work tasks. It is recommended that further attention be given to the use of machinery, equipment, and technology in the redesign of work tasks which can decrease construction workers likelihood of injury and pain.
More information on the bodily pain and mental health research can be found here.
GPO Box 4368, Melbourne, VIC 3001
T 03 9664 7677
T 1300 COINVEST