Subcontractor payment delay

​Non-payment of subcontractors

Assistance available for subcontractors

Where a subcontractor has not been paid on time for work carried out on a construction project in Western Australia, there are a number of ways a contractual payment dispute can be resolved:

  • Use the dispute resolution mechanism in your contract with the head contractor. Main Roads encourages subcontractors to initiate direct negotiations with the head contractor, as the first step to an amicable resolution. 
  • Obtain help from the Small Business Development Corporation to resolve the dispute through mediation. For info, visit the SDBC website on mediation or call 13 12 49.
  • Lodge an adjudication claim under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) . For more info, visit the Building Commission’s website or call 1300 489 099.
  • Seek determination by the Magistrates Court for minor claims for debt or damages. Visit the Magistrates Court website or call 9425 2222.
  • Seek help from subcontractors’ industry association.
Subcontractor’s responsibilities

Before entering into a contract with a head contractor, subcontractors must fully understand their obligations, risks, rights under the contract and the application of any overarching legislation. Subcontractors should, where necessary, seek their own legal advice on risks, such as payment delays, in their business affairs with a head contractor.

Subcontractors should ensure that they are satisfied with the financial stability of the head contractor, since in the event that a head contractor goes into receivership, administration or liquidation, the subcontractors may not receive payment for amounts they are owed.

Other helpful information


Modified: 11 Jan 2019