Do You Really Need One?
What Do You Want It To Achieve?
Drafting Your Agreement
As per the Fair Work Commission website, the following are bargaining representatives:
- an employer who would be covered by the agreement
- any union who has a member that would be covered by the agreement (unless the member has specified in writing that he or she does not wish to be represented by the union)
- any union that has applied for a low paid authorisation that relates to the agreement
- any person specified in writing as their bargaining representative by either an employer or employee who would be covered by the agreement.
Once a final draft has been agreed upon, there are a few more steps that need to be taken before an application for approval can be lodged with FWC.
As the employer, you must ensure that a) the terms of the agreement, and the effect of those terms, are explained to the employees; and b) the explanation is provided in an appropriate manner (e.g. appropriate for young employees or employees from culturally diverse backgrounds).
The draft agreement myst be endorsed by the employees by voting on it. The vote cannot occur until a minimum of 21 days have passed since the employees were given their notice of representational rights.
During the 7 day period prior to the vote taking place, the employees must be given a copy of the agreement, and any other material incorporated by reference in the agreement. The employer must also notify employees of the time and place at which the vote will occur and the voting method that will be used.
For single-enterprise agreements (excluding greenfields agreements), the agreement is made when a majority of the employees of the employer, or each employer, who cast a valid vote endorse the agreement.[GARD]
Once the agreement has been endorsed, a application can be made to the Fair Work Commission for the agreement to be approved.
To do this, a bargaining representative for the agreement must apply to the Fair Work Commission for approval of the agreement. The application must be lodged with the Commission within 14 days of the agreement being made or within such further period as the Commission allows.
The application must be accompanied by; a signed copy of the agreement and any declarations that are required by the Fair Work Australia Rules 2010 or regulations to accompany the application.
There are additional factors that FWC will take into consideration before approving an Enterprise Agreement, such as unlawful content and flexibility and consultation clauses. These are explained in greater detail in the IR Simplified course Enterprise Agreements 101