Nominee Supervisors: Responsibilities And Risks

 

Businesses and companies utilise a “nominee supervisor” which serves as a supervisor role within the business. Usually, in a small business, the nominee is also the owner of the business. In larger companies, there can be various nominees for various arms of the business such as:

  • Nominee for a different licence variant of the trade not held by the contractor (i.e. nominee for gasfitting when the contractor holds plumbing and drainage only)
  • Nominee assigned for the work the business is contracting in when the business owner does not hold a trade occupational licence

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act (QBCCA) S30A states:

30A Nominee supervisor’s licence
(1) A licence (a nominee supervisor’s licence) may be issued authorising an individual—

     (a) if the individual is the nominee for a licensed contractor that is a company, to—
         (i) provide supervisory services for building work carried out under the company’s licence; and
         (ii) perform the functions required of a nominee under this Act; or
     (b) if the individual is an officer or employee of a company, other than the company’s nominee—to personally supervise building work carried out under the company’s licence.

(2) An individual who holds a nominee supervisor’s licence and who is the employee of a licensed contractor that is an individual may personally supervise building work carried out under the contractor’s licence.

(3) Nominee supervisors’ licences are to be divided into classes by regulation—
     (a) according to whether the licence relates to all classes of building work or is limited to a specified class or specified classes of building work; and
     (b) if the licence is limited to a specified class, or specified classes, of building work—according to the class or classes of building work to which it relates.

(4) A nominee supervisor’s licence may be issued for any class of licence.

Responsibilities Of A Nominee Supervisor

Licensees may also be asked to become a nominee for a company they do not work for every day. However, an issue arises here as the nominee for a company is directly responsible to “provide supervisory services for building work carried out under the company’s licence.” How is this possible if they are not present to direct, guide, and supervise the people performing the works?

As the nominated supervisor, you are responsible for the supervision and oversight of the plumbing work that takes place within the business and any breach of the relevant laws and regulations. This means that should any breach occur, you could be personally liable and be held accountable for the breach. Furthermore, there is a risk that the work carried out is not compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

As the nominee supervisor, you have a significant responsibility to ensure that the licensed plumbers you work with are adhering to all relevant laws and regulations and the work being done is of high quality and meets all necessary standards. Additionally, being a nominee supervisor can also be risky, particularly if you're working with multiple companies. Some of the risks may include legal liability, reputational damage, and personal safety.

Legal liability – If a licensed plumber is found to be in violation of any laws or regulations, you as the nominee supervisor could be held liable for any damages or penalties. This could include fines, legal fees, and even criminal charges. If you're working with multiple companies, this risk is compounded, as you'll have to ensure that each company is following all relevant laws and regulations.

To mitigate this risk, it's essential to stay up-to-date on all laws and regulations that apply to the business. You should also ensure that each licensed plumber you work with is following all relevant laws and regulations and take immediate action if you discover any violations. This could include stopping work on the project.

Reputational damage is another risk of being a QBCC nominee supervisor, particularly if you're working with multiple companies. If a licensee’s work is of poor quality or if they engage in unethical or illegal practices, it could reflect poorly on you as the nominee supervisor. This could damage your professional reputation and make it difficult for you to secure future work in the building industry.

To mitigate this risk, it's essential to ensure that each licensed plumber is producing high-quality work and following ethical and legal practices. You should conduct regular site visits to inspect the quality of the work being done and address any issues immediately.

Personal safety is another significant risk of being a QBCC nominee supervisor, particularly if you're working with multiple companies. Building sites can be dangerous places, and accidents can happen at any time. As the nominee supervisor, you're responsible for ensuring that each site is safe for all workers and visitors.

To mitigate this risk, it's essential to conduct regular safety inspections and ensure that all workers are trained in proper safety protocols. You should also have a written agreement in place with each licensed builder that outlines the safety responsibilities and liabilities of each party involved in the project.


MPAQ members with further questions can call the MPAQ technical team on 07 3273 0800.

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Author
Ernie Kretschmer
Ernie Kretschmer Deputy Executive Director

Ernie has been around the plumbing industry his whole life and with over 30 years as a second-generation licensed plumber and drainer, Ernie is very experienced and passionate about our industry. As the Deputy Executive Director at MPAQ, Ernie strives to support our members and represent the plumbing industry on a local, state, and federal level. Since commencing with the Association in 2005, Ernie has been able to assist thousands of members with issues ranging from the smallest of technical concerns, to the largest of major projects.

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