A pre-2010 agreement that continues to operate (a ‘zombie agreement’) will automatically terminate (or ‘sunset’) on 7 December 2023, unless before 7 December 2023 an application is made to the Commission to extend the default period for the agreement.
Certain kinds of registered agreements that were made before 1 January 2010, continued to operate for the purposes of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) when the Fair Work Act fully commenced on 1 January 2010 (pre-2010 agreements).
Many of these pre-2010 agreements no longer cover anyone and so have ceased to operate. For example, many pre-2010 agreements have been replaced by enterprise agreements, only covered employers, projects or worksites that no longer exist, only covered named employees who are no longer employed by the employer, or have been terminated by the parties or by the Commission.
The pre-2010 agreements that continue to operate today are commonly known as ‘zombie agreements’.
A pre-2010 agreement that continues to operate will automatically terminate on 7 December 2023 unless an application is made to the Commission before 7 December 2023 to extend the default period for the agreement. This is known as ‘sunsetting’.
If the employees who were covered by the pre-2010 agreement are not covered by an enterprise agreement, a modern award may then apply to the employees.
Some employers and employees may not want their pre-2010 agreements to terminate. The employer covered by a pre-2010 agreement, an employee covered by a pre-2010 agreement or a union representing one or more employees covered, can apply to the Commission to extend the default period for a pre-2010 agreement (a ‘zombie agreement’).