Agreement cases

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Agreement cases

The AIRC determined whether site-specific agreements apply if the employer moves site and also looked at the disadvantage to employees from proposed flexible working hours.

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The AIRC determined whether site-specific agreements apply if the employer moves site and also looked at the disadvantage to employees from proposed flexible working hours.

Site-specific agreements do not follow employer

The AIRC has found that enterprise agreements that say they relate only to a particular location no longer apply when the employer moves to a new site.

The relevant clause in the agreement stated that the agreement applied to employees at a specific location and at a specific address.

Commissioner Bacon stated:

'The term "at the enterprise" where used similarly does not cast doubt on the singular meaning that is apparent in the words of clause 3.1.

Why the parties to the agreement chose to use that term is not clear. However there is nothing which mandates that the term "at the enterprise" need be anything other than the export boning room at the ACC Complex, Colmslie Road, Morningside. Indeed if there is some doubt about the meaning of the term "the enterprise" when used in a certified agreement, one would usually look to the definitions (if any), or the scope of the application of the agreement to identify the relevant enterprise.

There is nothing in the AMIEU submission which establishes that the term "at the enterprise" (when used in the EBA) contextually renders clause 3.1 susceptible to more than one meaning.'

The Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union v IMT Export Pty Ltd re IMT Export Pty Ltd Certified Agreement. PR951471 (31 August 2001)

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Short-term crisis over agreement

The implementation of flexible working hours for the Queensland sugar crushing season was the issue before the AIRC.

The commission was not satisfied that it was in the public interest for the reduction in employees’ entitlements, resulting from the flexible working hours arrangements in the proposed Certified Agreement, to operate for the entire duration of the agreement – i.e. for both the 2004 and 2005 crushing seasons. It considered that changes of this nature should be limited as much as possible.

The employer was given the opportunity to reassess the issues raised by the Commission and return to the Commission at a later date.

Australian Sugar Milling Association, Queensland, Union of Employers v The Australian Workers’ Union of Employees, Queensland and Others (No. CA337 of 2004) - Ashbury C - 19/08/04 - re Mossman Central Mill Company Ltd - Certified Agreement.

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