Enterprise agreements must meet a number of requirements under the Fair Work Act 2009 in order to be approved by the Commission, including meeting the ‘better off overall test’ (BOOT) and satisfying other substantive and procedural requirements.
A pilot program was conducted that sought to determine if improvements could be made in relation to timeliness, cost, effectiveness and consistency. It commenced on 6 October 2014 and ran until 30 June 2015.
In the pilot, the preliminary review of agreements was conducted by a team of administrative staff specifically trained in reviewing enterprise agreement approval applications. The administrative staff used a checklist developed by Commission Members.
An independent review of the pilot concluded that the triage process had facilitated the consistent treatment of agreement approval applications and that the timeframes for approvals had significantly improved.
Following the success of the pilot the Commission has adopted a phased implementation of the new process in which agreement approval applications are assessed under the triage model.
Under the triage process Commission Members, assisted by the analysis undertaken by the administrative staff, continue to make the decision as to whether or not an agreement should be approved.