The Fair Work Amendment (Variation of Enterprise Agreements) Regulations 2020 (the April Amendment) temporarily shortened the access period for a proposed variation of an enterprise agreement from 7 calendar days to 1 calendar day.
This Regulation applied to applications where the access period commenced on and between 17 April 2020 and 12 June 2020 ONLY.
On 13 June 2020, the Fair Work Amendment (Variation of Enterprise Agreements No. 2) Regulations 2020 repealed the April Amendment. This means that for access periods that start on or after 13 June 2020, the access period must again be 7 calendar days.
The access period for an agreement is the period ending immediately before the start of the voting process. During the access period, employees must have access to a copy of a proposed variation of an enterprise agreement. Employees must be notified by the start of the access period of the details of the vote on the variation.
In all cases, employees must have genuinely agreed to a variation of an enterprise agreement.
The Fair Work Commission will continue to expedite any applications to vary agreements sent to COVID19Applications@fwc.gov.au
A copy of the amendment to the regulations can be found on the Federal Register of Legislation website:
Enterprise agreements can be varied, with the approval of the Fair Work Commission, in 2 ways:
The Commission provides a checklist to assist with varying an agreement:
Employers and their employees may agree to vary an enterprise agreement, but such a variation has no effect unless it is approved by the Fair Work Commission.
An employer may request that the employees endorse the variation by voting for it.
To seek approval of an enterprise agreement variation by the Commission, a person covered by the agreement must make an application using Form F23, which is available on our Forms page.
The application must be accompanied by:
The variation is the document employees are being asked to approve.
Any of the parties to an enterprise agreement, an agreement-based transitional instrument or a Division 2B State instrument may apply to the Commission for a variation of their agreement to remove ambiguity or uncertainty.
If the parties to an agreement do not agree about a proposed variation, the Commission can help them resolve their differences.
A variation operates from the day specified in the Commission's decision to vary the agreement.
All the forms are available from our Forms page.