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Detailed guidance for supporting safe and fair workplaces

Find model approaches and further information in relation to supporting safe and fair workplaces.

Introduction

Safe and fair workplaces is one of seven social procurement objectives included in the Social Procurement Framework. 

Note: 

All suppliers are required to comply with their legal obligations under applicable legislation and regulations, industrial awards and agreements, tribunal decisions and contracts of employment. 

The Victorian Government Purchasing Board’s Supplier Code of Conduct applies to all contracts, agreements and purchase orders from 1 July 2017 and outlines minimum ethical standards in behaviour – including in relation to labour and human rights – that suppliers will aspire to meet when conducting business with, or on behalf of, the Victorian Government. 

Corresponding social outcomes

The Social Procurement Framework identifies one social outcome corresponding to this social procurement objective: 

Purchasing from suppliers that comply with industrial relations laws and promote secure employment. 

Recommended actions

Individual procurement activity requirements for government buyers (Table 3 of the Social Procurement Framework) recommends the following actions: 

For individual procurement activities at or above $1 million (regional) or $3 million (metro or State-wide) (exclusive of GST), government buyers ask suppliers to demonstrate compliance with industrial relations laws. 

Purchase from suppliers that comply with industrial relations laws and promote secure employment

Benefits for Victorians

The Victorian Government supports a stable, cooperative and fair system of industrial and workplace relations and believes that a single unitary national system provides the best framework for all employees, employers and unions.  

The national workplace relations system aims to promote safety, flexibility and productivity in the workplace and to maintain clear and enforceable minimum national employment standards that ensure workers have access to a fair, safe and secure workplace. 

Model approach for government buyers

In relation to this outcome, there are existing requirements governing some types of procurement activity, as well as a model approach for all other types of procurement activity. The existing requirements and model approach are outlined below. 

Construction

Where an individual procurement activity involves the supply of Works and the value of Works (or Works component) exceeds $500,000 (inclusive of GST), government buyers are required to use the mandatory evaluation criteria for industrial relations management in their tender documentation. Government buyers must ensure that a tender participant satisfies the evaluation criteria for industrial relations management before awarding a contract to perform Works. 

Where a tender participant has already been assessed against the evaluation criteria for industrial relations management as part of a prequalification process to a register approved for use in public construction or is becoming a member of a panel, then government buyers do not need to reassess the tender participant against the evaluation criteria for industrial relations management provided that the tender participant confirms, prior to contract award, that: 

  • in the case of a tender participant prequalified on a register or a member of a panel, they remain on that register or panel; and 
  • there has been no material change to the information submitted to satisfy the evaluation criteria for industrial relations management that would affect the tender participant's ability to satisfy them. 

The evaluation criteria for industrial relations management assists government buyers to establish confidence in the industrial relations management practices of tender participants who seek to undertake public construction. To demonstrate compliance with the evaluation criteria for industrial relations management, tender participants are required to complete a self-assessment checklist and sign a declaration of compliance. 

Compliance with the evaluation criteria for industrial relations management will advance the objective of supporting safe and fair workplaces. 

Call Centre services

Where an individual procurement activity involves procuring call centre services, government buyers are required to comply with the Victorian Government Call Centre Code which includes a requirement that suppliers complete the Checklist for Compliance with the Code and sign the Declaration of Compliance when submitting a response to an invitation to supply in relation to call centre services. 

The Checklist and Declaration require suppliers to detail their record of compliance with workplace relations and occupational health and safety legislation to assist government buyers to establish confidence in the workplace relations and occupational health and safety practices of suppliers. 

Compliance with the Call Centre Code will advance the social procurement objective of supporting safe and fair workplaces. 

All other goods, services and construction

The model approach for all individual procurement activities that are not covered by the existing requirements outlined above has two components: 

  • require suppliers to complete a safe and fair workplaces self-assessment checklist and corresponding declaration of compliance; and  
  • where appropriate, government buyers may request documentary evidence to substantiate their responses to the self-assessment checklist and declaration (e.g. after suppliers have been shortlisted). 

The example checklist and declaration provide a framework for government buyers to qualitatively assess suppliers’ compliance with industrial relations laws. They are also consistent with similar checklists and declarations used to assess compliance with the mandatory evaluation criteria for industrial relations management for construction works and Call Centre Code. 

Consider inserting the Safe and fair workplaces - model Information Schedule into the supplier response schedule for goods and services procurement when the procurement supports disadvantaged Victorians 

Further information for government buyers

Construction

The Construction Policy team within Department of Treasury and Finance are responsible for the administration of the procurement framework for public sector construction. The Industrial Relations Management Criteria is available at Public construction policy and resources

Call Centre services

Industrial Relations Victoria within the Department of Premier and Cabinet can provide advice to government buyers and suppliers about the Call Centre Code

Tools and support

This content on this page is taken from the Social Procurement Framework – Buyer Guidance Guide to individual procurement activity requirements. Access a PDF version in the social procurement document library

For more information about social procurement, please contact the Social Procurement team

Reviewed 09 October 2019

Buying for Victoria

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