Enterprise Bargaining: HR Breakfast Club January Summary
This month, John Wilson, Managing Legal Director – Employment & Industrial Law Group at BAL Lawyers, spoke about the enterprise bargaining process and the wage and working conditions being negotiated at the level of the individual organisations.
John gave us an introduction to the main differences between Enterprise Agreements and Modern Awards as well as the National Employment Standards (NES).
The National Employment Standards has 10 minimum entitlements for all employees in Australia, these are:
- Maximum weekly working hours
- Requests for flexible working arrangements
- Parental leave and related entitlements
- Annual leave
- Personal carer’s leave and compassionate leave
- Community service leave
- Long service leave
- Public holidays
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay
- Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement
Key points to take away from John’s presentation were:
- There is no one-size fits all approach as to whether or not an Enterprise Agreement is best suited to your organisation.
- Enterprise Agreements are complicated and there are both pros and cons to think about before deciding to enter into enterprise bargaining.
- While the enterprise bargaining process has changed over the years, it is a constant that the bargaining process needs to be carried out in good faith and employees must be better off overall under any proposed agreement.