Labour-hire proposed agreement – inferior terms and conditions

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Labour-hire proposed agreement – inferior terms and conditions

An agreement applying to labour-hire workers has been rejected by the Fair Work Commission because it contained “inferior terms and conditions”.

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An agreement applying to labour-hire workers has been rejected by the Fair Work Commission because it contained “inferior terms and conditions”.

Deputy President Bartel ruled that the proposed agreement failed the better off overall test.

[Full text of this case: MP Resources Pty Ltd [2015] FWC 6820 (2 October 2015)]

The Commission noted there were 200 levels of rates of pay contained in the proposed agreement and an absence of classification definitions. It also noted that the pay rates were so complicated they effectively deprived employees of enforceable rate of pay.

A previous decision was cited as relevant: Harrison SDP in Mondex Group P/L –  where the Commission found that it would be contrary to the public interest to approve a similar agreement and so extending its inferior provisions to future employees who may be engaged by the employer throughout Australia.

Numerous failings


In rejecting the agreement, the Commission noted:

“… the proposed Agreement is not the Agreement which has been signed and filed with the application for approval ...

The following examples are not exhaustive of the differences between the documents [award and agreement]:

  • The description of the employees to be bound;
  • The definition and minimum engagement of a part time employee;
  • The inclusion of a probationary period of six months for new employees under the Agreement;
  • A provision in the Agreement enabling the employer to suspend employment with or without pay.”

Other issues


The Commission also noted:

“No unions or other employee representatives are involved in the negotiation of these enterprise agreements, which are poorly drafted and involve complex wages provisions …

It sought a number of provisions that were inferior to the relevant awards ... minimum hourly wage ...”

Previously rejected

The Commission also observed:

“At best, the repeated attempts to gain approval of agreements in terms that have previously been rejected by the Commission or modified by the provision of undertakings is careless, at worst it lacks integrity ...” 

The bottom line: The Fair Work Commission will protect the integrity of the enterprise bargaining system, and agreements that challenged fundamental conditions of employment will be rejected.

MP Resources Pty Ltd [2015] FWC 6820 (2 October 2015) 

See also: Agreements and bargainingBetter Off Overall Test 

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