Previous PageNext Page

AP789529CRV - Metal, Engineering and Associated Industries Award 1998



Each enterprise must establish a procedure to avoid or resolve disputes.

3.2.1 A procedure for the avoidance or resolution of disputes will apply in all enterprises covered by this Award. The mechanism and procedures for resolving industrial disputes will include, but not be limited to, the following:

[Pt I:Pt 3:3.2.1(a) corrected by Q2704 from 01Jul98]

3.2.1(a) The employee/s concerned will first meet and confer with their immediate supervisor. The employee/s may appoint another person to act on their behalf including a shop steward or delegate of their union.

Subject to 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 where the shop steward or delegate is involved he/she shall be allowed the necessary time during working hours to interview the employee(s) and the supervisor.

3.2.1(b) If the matter is not resolved at such a meeting the parties will arrange further discussions involving more senior management as appropriate. The employee may invite a union official to be involved in the discussions. The employer may also invite into the discussions an officer of the employer organisation to which the employer belongs.

The shop steward or delegate shall be allowed at a place designated by the employer, a reasonable period of time during working hours to interview the duly accredited Union Officials of the Union to which they belong.

3.2.1(c) If the matter remains unresolved, the employer may refer it to a more senior level of management or to a more senior national officer within the employer organisation. The employee may invite a more senior union official to be involved in the discussions. In the event there is no agreement to refer the matter to a more senior level or it is agreed that such a reference would not resolve the matter the parties shall jointly or individually refer the matter to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission for assistance in resolving the matter.

3.2.2 In order to facilitate the procedure in 3.2.1:

3.2.2(a) The party with the grievance must notify the other party at the earliest opportunity of the problem;

3.2.2(b) Throughout all stages of the procedure all relevant facts must be clearly identified and recorded;

3.2.2(c) Sensible time limits must be allowed for completion of the various stages of discussion. However, the parties must co-operate to ensure that the disputes resolution procedures are carried out as quickly as possible.

3.2.3 While the parties are attempting to resolve the matter the parties will continue to work in accordance with this award and their contract of employment unless the employee has a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to his or her health and safety. Subject to relevant provisions of any State or Territory occupational health and safety law, even if the employee has a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to his or her health or safety, the employee must not unreasonably fail to comply with a direction by his or her employer to perform other available work, whether at the same enterprise or another enterprise, that is safe and appropriate for the employee to perform.

3.2.4 Redundancy disputes

[Pt I:Pt 3:3.2.4 inserted by PR947664 from 08Jun04]

3.2.4(a) Subclauses 3.2.4(b) and 3.2.4(c) impose additional obligations on an employer where an employer contemplates termination of employment due to redundancy and a dispute arises (a redundancy dispute). These additional obligations do not apply to employers who employ fewer than 15 employees on the day the dispute arises.

3.2.4(b) Where a redundancy dispute arises, and if it has not already done so, an employer must provide, in good time, affected employees and the relevant union or unions (if requested by any affected employee) with relevant information including:

3.2.4(c) Where a redundancy dispute arises and discussions occur in accordance with this clause the employer will, as early as possible, consult on measures taken to avert or to minimise any proposed redundancies and measures to mitigate the adverse affects of any proposed redundancies on the employees concerned.

3.2.5 Dispute Resolution Procedure Training Leave

[Pt I:Pt 3:3.2.4 inserted by PR906395 ppc 27Jul01; renumbered as 3.2.5 by PR947664 from 08Jun04]

3.2.5(a) Subject to clause 3.2.4(h), an eligible employee representative will be entitled to, and the employer will grant, up to five days training leave with pay to attend courses which are directed at the enhancement of the operation of the dispute resolution procedure including its operation in connection with this Award and with the Workplace Relations Act 1996, or with any relevant certified agreement which provides it is to be read in conjunction with this Award.

3.2.5(b) An employee representative or the relevant union shall give the employer six weeks of notice of the employee representative’s intention to attend such courses and the leave to be taken, or such shorter period of notice as the employer may agree to accept.

3.2.5(c) The notice to the employer shall include details of the type, content and duration of the course to be attended.

3.2.5(d) The taking of such leave shall be arranged having regard to the operational requirements of the employer so as to minimise any adverse effect on those requirements.

3.2.5(e) An employee representative taking such leave shall be paid all ordinary time earnings which normally become due and payable during the period of leave, to be calculated in accordance with clause 7.1.3(a) of this Award.

3.2.5(f) Leave of absence granted pursuant to this clause shall count as service for all purposes of this Award.

3.2.5(g) A dispute in relation to:

3.2.5(g)(i) the granting of leave to an employee for the purpose of attending a course which is not an agreed course, or not a course approved by agreement between a relevant employee organisation mentioned in clause 1.7.1(a) and one or more of the employer organisations mentioned in clause 1.7.1(b); or,

3.2.5(g)(ii) an alleged inability to make adequate staffing arrangements to meet the operational requirements of the employer;

shall be resolved in accordance with the procedure set out in this clause provided that the procedure can be activated for this purpose either by any such organisation of employees or by the employer concerned, or a registered organisation of employers bound by this Award, of which the employer who is in dispute is a member.

The dispute resolution procedure is activated when the employer advises the employee representative or the relevant union that the employer will not or may not grant the leave. If the dispute resolution procedure is not so activated by or on behalf of the relevant employer within seven days of the receipt of the notice of intention to attend the course and take leave, the leave is to be granted.

3.2.5(h) For the purpose of determining the entitlement of employee representatives to dispute resolution procedure training leave, an eligible employee representative:

3.2.5(h)(i) is a shop steward; a delegate; or an employee representative duly elected or appointed by the employees in a workplace generally or collectively for all or part of a workplace pursuant to clause 3.2.1(a) for the purpose of representing those employees in the dispute resolution procedure; who,

3.2.5(h)(ii) is within the class and number of representatives entitled from year to year to take paid dispute resolution procedure training leave according to the following quota table:

No. of employees employed by employer in enterprise or workplace

Max No. of eligible employees representatives entitled per year commencing 1 July 2001

5 - 15


16 - 30


31 - 50


51 - 90


More than 90


Provided that if the number of eligible employee representatives exceeds the quota at any particular time for a relevant enterprise or workplace, priority of entitlement for the relevant year shall be resolved by agreement between those entitled, or if not agreed, be given to the more senior of the employee representatives otherwise eligible who seeks leave.

For purposes of applying the quota table employees employed by the employer in enterprise or workplace are employees covered by the Award, employed by the eligible employee representative’s employer who are full-time, part-time or fixed-term employees, or casual employees with six months or more service; being employees engaged in the enterprise or workplace to which the procedure established under clause 3.2.1 applies; or if no such procedure is established for a readily identifiable enterprise or workplace, being employees engaged by the employer in the employment covered by the Award.

3.2.5(i) Without limiting the generality of courses that may qualify for purposes of clause 3.2.4(a), a course directed at the enhancement of the operation of the dispute resolution procedures includes a course relating to that subject matter which is a course:

3.2.5(i)(i) agreed between the employer and the relevant eligible employee representative, or,

3.2.5(i)(ii) approved jointly by one or more of the organisations of employees listed in clause 1.7.1(a) with one or more of the organisations of employers listed in clause 1.7.1(b).

Top Of PagePrevious PageNext Page