Don't get caught out

25 January, 2017

Making an enterprise agreement with your employees is full of positives when approached the right way. It can be a great way to actively engage employees, accurately budget your wage increases and minimise the risk of industrial action and disputes.

However, the process of creating an agreement is full of potential pitfalls and hurdles. Failure to follow the legislative requirements can see an agreement made between you and your employees fail to be approved.

CCI WA has put together some helpful tips to follow when creating an enterprise agreement;

  1. Map out the important dates. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) has very stringent time frames that must be followed in order for the enterprise agreement to be approved by the Fair Work Commission. Make sure that anyone responsible for any steps in the process is aware of these dates and milestones. Some of the most common errors here include conducting the vote too soon after providing employees access to the agreement, and not issuing the Notice of Employee Representational Rights letter within 14 days of commencing bargaining.
  2. Give the agreement the BOOT, and we don’t mean kicking it up the backside. For an enterprise agreement to be passed it needs to pass the Better Off Overall Test. Make sure that the agreement is tested against the modern award that applies to the employees and that they are better off under the agreement.
  3. Make sure that you explain the agreement to your employees. For the agreement to be genuinely agreed to, you need to demonstrate that employees had the agreement explained to them in terms that they understand. Good ideas include Q&A sheets or having consultation meetings.

► CCI’s Workplace Consulting team assists employers every day to create enterprise agreements with their employees.