From 6 June 2023, there is a new cooperative workplace bargaining stream. Cooperative workplace agreements are a type of multi-enterprise agreement.
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From 6 June, parties will be able to make a cooperative workplace agreement.
A cooperative workplace agreement is a type of multi-enterprise agreement. It can be made by employers who have agreed to bargain together where they are not included in a supported bargaining authorisation or single interest authorisation.
Before approving a cooperative workplace agreement, the Commission must be satisfied that at least some of the employees are represented by a union.
The Commission can assist parties during bargaining to reach an agreement that meets their needs.
Varying a cooperative workplace agreement to add employers and employees
A cooperative workplace agreement can be varied to cover additional employers and their employees.
This can only happen if the new employer and their affected employees agree to be covered.
To indicate agreement, the employer may hold a vote for the affected employees. A majority must genuinely agree to the variation.
The vote may be conducted by a ballot or by an electronic method.
The employer must then apply to the Commission for approval of the variation. The employer has 14 days after voting closes to apply. The variation has no effect unless it is approved by the Commission.
Approving a variation application to add employers and employees
The Commission must approve a variation if it is satisfied that:
- The employers and any unions who were covered by the agreement before the variation was made have had an opportunity to express their views to the Commission
- The affected employees have voted and a majority of those who cast a valid vote approved the variation
- The variation has been genuinely agreed to by the affected employees
- It is not contrary to the public interest for the new employer and their affected employees to be covered by the agreement.
The Commission must not approve a variation if:
- The agreement is a greenfields agreement that covers employees in relation to building and construction work
- The variation would result in an agreement that covers employees in relation to general building and construction work
- The new employer is specified in a supported bargaining authorisation or single interest employer authorisation in relation to any of the employees to be covered.