The Trust

The scheme was established in 1989 to provide construction industry employees with a secure benefit at the time of redundancy, retirement, death or permanent disablement. All contributions are held in trust on behalf of members and invested according to the Deed Of Trust which provides that security of members entitlements is the primary objective. A Board Of Trustees manages the trust with equal representation by Union and Employer representatives.

Trustees have directed that the funds be invested in Government or Bank guaranteed securities. Investment earnings are used to recover the cost of administering the fund and the balance is directed towards training within the building industry. No fees are deducted from contributions.

Top Registering as an Employer

You must complete and sign an Agreement Of Adherence to register your company as an employer.

The Agreement Of Adherence is a legal document binding the employer to the Trust Deed and the obligations it sets out in respect of all members enrolled in the fund.

Agreement Of Adherence (PDF)

Top Registering Your Employees

Each eligible employee should complete a Membership Application form and after checking for completeness and accuracy the employer should send these to BIRST.

A membership card will be issued to each of your employees on receipt of the completed application form.

Membership Application (PDF)

Top Paying Contributions

The current contribution rate is $40 per week for each employee but this may vary from site to site or if you have an Enterprise Agreement with your employees.

On the 20th of each month an invoice will be generated and sent to you presuming that each of your registered employees worked the entire month on a BIRST site. Returns can also be sent and remitted electronically. This website provides the facility to enter your return online or if you would prefer the return can be sent as a spreadsheet.

If required you should amend the print-out to reflect the actual weeks due and the corresponding amount payable using the following guidelines:

Contributions are payable when an employee is on:

  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Long Service Leave
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Jury Service
  • Workers Compensation (52 week maximum)
  • Part of a week on a BIRST site entitles the worker to a full weeks contribution.
  • Contributions are not payable if an employee is on unpaid or unauthorised leave during the week.

If an employee has ceased working with you please indicate the termination date and adjust contributions accordingly.

If an employee has changed address please advise us.

New Employees should be added at the bottom of the invoice and a Membership Application form attached.

If you have no employees entitled to contributions write “NIL” on the invoice and return the original to BIRST.

Top Termination of Employment

On termination of employment the employee is entitled redundancy unless dismissed for misconduct or if the employee resigns and has worked fewer that twelve months.

The amount payable is the amount held in Trust by BIRST, or the amount specified under the relevant award, whichever is the greatest. For award provisions please contact the Department Of Labour or your employer organisation.

When an employee is terminated the employer should complete a BIRST Redundancy Claim Form and give it to the worker.  The employee then completes the "Worker To Complete" section of the form and submits it to BIRST to enable payment.

Redundancy Claim Form (PDF)

Top Taxation

From the 1st October 2020, the reason for termination of employment will determine how benefit payments are taxed. Members are not required to do anything to take advantage of these changes.

Reason for Termination Tax Rate (including Medicare levy)
Genuine Redundancy 1 If under pension age:
  • 0% up to the tax free threshold2; and
  • for amounts over the tax free threshold up to the ETP Cap:
    • 17% if you have reached your preservation age; or
    • 32% if you have not reached your preservation age; and
  • 47% on amounts over the ETP Cap
If pension age or over:
  • 17% on amounts up to the ETP Cap; and
  • 47% on amounts over the ETP Cap
Resignation, Retirement or other Voluntary Termination Amounts up to the ETP Cap:
  • 32%; or
  • 17% if over Preservation Age3; and
47% on amounts over the ETP Cap
Financial Hardship
  • 32%; or
  • 17% if over Preservation Age3
  1. Genuine Redundancy means your employer has made a decision that your job is no longer needed, and your employment is to be terminated. Your employer must confirm to BIRST that your termination was due to a genuine redundancy.
  2. The tax free threshold for genuine redundancy payments is the sum of a base amount plus an additional amount for each completed year of service with your employer. Please refer to the ATO website for information regarding tax free thresholds for genuine redundancy payments. The tax rates applied to amounts above the tax free threshold but less than the ETP Cap is 32% (or 17% if you have reached preservation age). Amounts above the ETP Cap are taxed at 47%.
  3. Preservation age is a sliding scale based on date of birth. Please refer to the ATO website for information regarding the preservation age.

Top Payments to Employees For Reasons Other Than Redundancy

If employee’s contributions are not paid on termination application may be made direct to the Trust for payment under the following criteria:

  • Retirement - after attaining preservation age.
  • Permanent Exit From The Industry - paid after a qualifying period of 39 weeks.
  • Death - paid to the members estate.
  • Permanent Disability - upon receipt of Medical confirmation.
  • Financial Hardship - unemployed for a minimum of four weeks and registered with an employment agency or Centrelink.

Top Other Information


The Fund will provide both the employer and the employees with regular statements detailing the amount of contributions received, amount reimbursed and the current balance. These are also available on request.


Contributions to BIRST are not included in total remuneration when calculating the WorkCover levy payable.

Income Tax Deductibility

Contributions made by an employer to BIRST are deductible to the employer under Section 51(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act.

Superannuation Guarantee Charge

BIRST is not included in normal wages for the purpose of calculating the superannuation guarantee charge.

Payroll Tax

If your contributions are exempt from Fringe Benefits Tax they will also be exempt from Payroll Tax (except in Western Australia).

Fringe Benefits Tax

BIRST is an Approved Worker Entitlement Fund under the Fringe Benefit Tax legislation. Changes have been made to FBT laws that affect employers who make payments to worker entitlement funds.  These changes take effect from 1st April 2004.To ensure that contributions are exempt from FBT you must have a registered industrial agreement in place that specifies the amount to be contributed on behalf of each employee.

If you have a registered agreement in place and make payments above the amount specified in the agreement, you will be required to pay FBT on the amount above the specified agreement.