Failure to inform employees of right to union representation flaws enterprise  agreement

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Failure to inform employees of right to union representation flaws enterprise agreement

Source: Australian Business Ltd The AIRC has refused to certify an enterprise agreement, as the employees who would be subject to the agreement were not informed of their right to have a union represent their interests.

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Source: Australian Business Ltd

 

The AIRC has refused to certify an enterprise agreement, as the employees who would be subject to the agreement were not informed of their right to have a union represent their interests.

Although it was apparently an oversight on the employer's part, the Commission said it was a required element of the process and its omission meant the agreement could not be certified until the error was corrected. 

This case emphasises the formalities required by the legislation are an important part of the process of registration as they are designed to protect the interests of the parties.

Background

The company made an application on 23 July, 2002 for the certification of an agreement reached with its employees. The Company provided a Statutory Declaration in support of its application however, it did not include information reflecting the views of the employees to be covered by the Agreement.

Section 170LK of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 reads (in part):

'..(2) The employer must take reasonable steps to ensure that every person employed at the time whose employment will be subject to the agreement has at least 14-days notice, in writing, of intention to make the agreement, and the agreement must not be made before those 14-days have passed.

(4) The notice must also state that if:

(a) any person whose employment will be subject to the agreement is a member of an organisation of employees; and

(b) the organisation is entitled to represent the person's industrial interests in relation to work that will be subject to the agreement;

(c) the person may request the organisation to represent the person in meeting and conferring with the employer about the agreement.'

Future hearing

The Senior Deputy President ruled he could not certify the agreement as presented to him, but did say that in the event a revised Agreement was presented to him for certification (following a process consistent with s170LK of the Act), he would facilitate an early hearing for the purpose of considering certification.

See: LK Vineyard Management certified agreement 2002. AIRC (PR920925) (2 August 2002) – O'Callaghan SDP.

 

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