Average Weekly Earnings for Construction Workers in Personal Injury Claims

Based on approximately 33 years’ experience in the building industry – as a director of a building company, providing taxation and business advice to a number of building industry clients, and providing forensic services relating to the building industry – it is my opinion that the Australian Bureau of Statistics data is not representative of many workers in the building industry for the following reasons:

  1. A substantial number of workers in the building industry work as subcontractors – their earnings are not included in the survey of employee earnings and hours.
  2. The averages do not include the SGC superannuation of 9%.
  3. The averages do not include fringe benefits such as provision of motor vehicles and tools, salary sacrifice to superannuation, payments of otherwise deductible expenses,etc.
  4. The survey excludes proprietors/partners in businesses who are not paid a salary.
  5. The salaries for business owners can be manipulated lower by their tax accountants to minimise taxes by the use of partnerships, trusts, company retention of profits, etc.
  6. The averages do not include commissions or bonuses.
  7. The averages include workers at minimal skill levels earning award wages.
  8. The averages include part-time workers.

The Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia, Aug 2008 Report shows the following earnings for male full-time non managerial employees as:

Total Earnings
331 Bricklayers, and carpenters and joiners $ 1,187.70
332 Floor finishers and painting trades workers $ 1,033.00
333 Glaziers, plasterers and tilers $ 945.40
334 Plumbers $ 1,018.70
821 Construction and mining labourers $ 1,243.70