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This week we look at a recent case which serves as a timely reminder to employers engaging in enterprise bargaining to take note of the time requirements as detailed in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). If you are considering bargaining or if your enterprise agreement is due to expire, call and speak to an NRA Workplace Advisor to discuss the best strategies for your business.

The Fair Work Commission has rejected an application for the approval of an enterprise agreement (EA) as it was not satisfied that there was a genuine agreement and it did not provide employees with a bargaining notice within 14 days.

The Queensland blinds and curtains wholesaler and manufacturer, failed to meet the “genuine agreement” requirements. This was a result of issuing the notice of representational rights more than 14 days after the notification time.

Commissioner Roe found similarly to Vice President Adam Hatcher’s conclusion in Transport Workers Union of Australia v Hunter Operations Pty Ltd that:
“The employer must give the notice as soon as practicable, and not later than 14 days, after the notification time for the agreement.”

Ultimately, the Commission found that an agreement cannot be genuinely agreed too unless it satisfies Section 188 and the Commission cannot approve an agreement unless the correct notice has been issued under Section 173(3).

Commissioner Roe agreed that the agreement’s contents met the requirements of Section 174(1A). However, the Commissioner was not satisfied that there was a genuine agreement and conditions of Section 186 had not been met and therefore he could not approve the agreement.

More information can be found by reading the full case here.
If you have any questions regarding enterprise agreements within your workplace call us on 1800 RETAIL.

Dominique Lamb, Principle of NRA Legal and Director of Legal