The first request that is expected to vary due to the COVID-19 pandemic was CVSG Electrical Construction Pty Ltd2, and the decision provides useful guidelines for employers who have wage increases that are expected to come into effect in the coming weeks, particularly on July 1, 2020, as part of a business agreement, and who are facing a short-term crisis. The FWC will apply a strict need-based test, called the « Better Off Overall Test » against an enterprise agreement, to ensure that the worker has not been disadvantaged by the agreement. Although an enterprise agreement offers a degree of flexibility, it should not exclude the minimum ten conditions of national employment standards: an enterprise agreement must not contain illegal content. For more information on how to negotiate in good faith and in companies that have proven themselves, see the Ombudsman`s Guide to Good Practice for Fair Work – improving productivity at work in negotiations. Organizations that are negotiators (employers, employers` organizations and trade unions) for a proposed enterprise agreement must disclose certain financial benefits that they (or certain related parties) may obtain (or could obtain) because of the length of the proposed agreement. The amendment proposed by CVSG Electrical was approved by the majority of the 65 employees in the enterprise agreement. For more information on agreement-based transitional instruments, including the modification and termination of these agreements, see www.fairwork.gov.au. An agreement is reached on several companies between two or more employers (not all of whom are employers with a single interest) and workers who are employed at the time of the agreement and who are covered by the agreement. The Fair Work Commission can then help some low-paid workers and their employers negotiate an agreement on several companies and make a decision in certain circumstances. Before approving an enterprise agreement, the Fair Work Commission must ensure that approval of the agreement would not jeopardize the negotiations of one or more negotiators on a proposed enterprise agreement. The proposed application for an enterprise agreement must be submitted to the Fair Labour Commission within 14 days of the date of filing or within an additional period of time, as permitted by the Fair Work Commission. If you agree to an agreement, the employer must send each worker a communication giving them the opportunity to negotiate individually or through a bargaining representative. For workers who are unionized, their union is their default representative if they do not make their own communication.
They may designate their union as a bargaining representative, or they may be involved in the negotiations themselves or appoint another person as their representative. The employer must negotiate in good faith with all negotiators (not just the union) when there is no obligation to reach an agreement. This means responding reasonably to the negotiators` proposals, including providing financial information to support the allegations about the financial imperatives of the organization. For companies that have experienced a decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, the delay or removal of the requirement to make short-term wage increases as part of an enterprise agreement may be essential to survive this crisis in the short term and contribute to the relaunch of their activities. There is no obligation for an employer to enter into negotiations for an EA with an employee or union if it does not wish to do so.