AMENDMENTS TO THE FAIR WORK ACT – ENTERPRISE AGREEMENTS AND 4 YEARLY REVIEWS OF AWARDS
The Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Act 2018 passed through Parliament in the final sitting week for 2018. The legislation makes some important amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009.
The amendments give the Fair Work Commission (FWC) more discretion to approve an enterprise agreement despite ‘minor procedural or technical errors’ made by the employer in the agreement-making process if the employees ‘were not likely to have been disadvantaged by the errors’.
‘Minor procedural or technical errors’ may include:
- Employees being informed of the time and place for voting on the proposed enterprise agreement or the voting method that will be used for the agreement just after the start of the ‘access period’ rather than by the start of the ‘access period’;
- Employees being requested to approve a proposed enterprise agreement on the 21st day after the last Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) was given to the employees, rather than at least 21 days after the day on which the last NERR was given;
- The inclusion of the employer’s company logo or letterhead on a NERR;
- The inclusion of additional materials that are stapled with a NERR; or
- Minor changes to the text of the NERR that had no relevant effect on the information that was being communicated in it (for example, the NERR may say to contact a particular person in the human resources department rather than to ‘contact your employer’).
These new powers for the FWC will apply to:
- Approval applications lodged with the FWC on or after 12 December 2018; and
- Approval applications lodged with the FWC before 12 December 2018 which have not been finally determined.
If you would like more information about issuing a NERR or applying to the Fair Work Commission to have an enterprise agreement approved, please contact Ai Group’s Workplace Advice Service on 1300 55 66 77.
Alternatively, if you would like advice about enterprise bargaining strategies or seeking to change a modern award please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Melbourne or Brisbane or email Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published - 15/02/19