Reference Date

A Payment Claim must be served on the Respondent from a Reference Date.

A Reference Date is a day(s) when you are entitled to claim under the contract. This may be a specific written date on an agreed contract or quotation on which the work was agreed to be undertaken. For example you may have to claim on the 23rd day of each month, once monthly, once fortnightly or once weekly.

In QLD, NSW, ACT, SA and Tasmania if the contract is silent on payment claim dates then the reference date is the last day of each month.

If you are using the Victorian legislation it is advisable to refer to the Victorian Government fact sheets to understand your entitlements to claim under that Act. To assist the reader we have extracted some words from Fact Sheet 3 in relation to when you can claim for payment under the Victorian Security of Payment Act as follows:

When can you make a payment claim?

A payment claim must be served within three months after the reference date, or within the period specified in the contract – whichever is the later.

A reference date is the date on which a claim may be made.  If the contract does not specify reference dates, the Act provides for them as follows:

  • Progress payments – 20 business days after the work was first carried out or goods and services were first provided.  Subsequent payment claims may then be made every 20 business days until the job is completed.
  • Single or one-off payments – The day after the work was last carried out or the goods or services were last supplied under the contract.
  • Final payments – The day after the end of any period under the contract for rectifying defects or omissions or the day after the final certificate is issued.  If neither of these applies, the reference date is the day after the work was last carried out or the goods or services were last supplied under the contract.

It is good practice to claim for works, goods and services that you are entitled to claim up until the reference date (not after).  For example if the reference date was the last day of the month and the date of a Payment Claim sent and received was the 17th of July the claimable entitlements are those up to the reference date of 30th June, not the 17th July.  July entitlements are applicable on and from the reference date of 31st July .

For relevant guidance notes on your Act please read the information provided under each Adjudication Scheme by clicking here.

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