When you make or change an agreement, you must prove the employees genuinely agreed to it. Understand what 'genuine' means.
The laws covering agreement making changed on 6 June 2023. Use this information if your notification time is before 6 June 2023. If notification time for your application is on or after 6 June 2023, see Changes to making Agreements for a summary of the new laws.
Employers must follow the right process to make an agreement. This includes making sure employees understand what the agreement means for them.
See section 188(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009.
If employees vote to accept an agreement, it is only genuine if:
- the employer meets all the requirements OR
- the employer can show us they took all reasonable steps to follow the rules.
Summary of the rules
The employer must take all reasonable steps to:
- give employees a copy of the agreement and support material during the access period or give them access to the agreement and support material by the start of the access period
- tell the employees by the start of the access period when, where and how to vote on the agreement
- explain the terms of the agreement, and the effect of those terms, to all employees
- consider the situation and specific needs of employees when explaining the agreement.
We must not find any reason to believe the employees have not 'genuinely agreed' to the agreement.
To understand all the steps an employer must follow, see The process to make an agreement. We provide a summary of the key points.