What can we expect?
• Enterprise bargaining will get harder. It could involve bargaining representatives agreeing to the deal before going to a vote, which could see a pivotal shift in workplaces with limited union membership but influential union involvement.
• Bargaining will likely mean guaranteeing nothing less than what exists in the underlying award.
• Terminating agreements will be more limited.
• Wage-bargaining deals will be run across an industry.
• Old (pre-Fair Work) collective agreements will have a drop dead date.
• Industry-wide work value cases will be much easier to run.
• The Fair Work Commission will return to settle all industrial issues, even if you have an enterprise agreement or your employees are covered by a modern award.
• Unfair dismissal and general protection cases will be streamlined and made easier for employees to run.
• The right of third-party lawyers to represent business and employees will be even more limited than it is now.
• Right of entry will be freed up, allowing union officials easier access to workplaces.
• Industrial manslaughter laws will be rolled out across the country.
Back to the future?
While this all sounds a lot like ‘Back to the Future’, employers must:
• Focus on a direct engagement strategy with employees.
• Invest heavily in front line (rather than executive) development.
• Ensure an aligned and consistently applied performance management approach is in place.
• Ensure employees have access to an effective and objective internal issues resolution process.
• Develop a sophisticated understanding of any unions in your business (as you would a commercial competitor or partners).
• When bargaining, give money before flexibility and flexibility before control.
Get in touch
with Australia Business Lawyers & Advisors today or visit their website
. You can also learn more about Enterprise Bargaining here.