Terminating pre-WorkChoices agreements - consequences

Q&A

Terminating pre-WorkChoices agreements - consequences

As WorkChoices approaches its first anniversary more employers are exploring the move from the old systems to WorkChoices.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

As WorkChoices approaches its first anniversary more employers are exploring the move from the old systems to WorkChoices. Here the consequences of terminating pre-WorkChoices agreements are considered.

Two questions received by WorkplaceInfo highlight some important issues.

Terminating a pre-reform Federal agreement

Q. Our employees are currently under a preserved collective State agreement that is now past its nominal expiry date. We are currently in negotiations regarding a new agreement, however I'm wondering what employment conditions will continue to apply to our employees if the company applies to have the agreement terminated through the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and no other arrangement is put in its place?

A. Once the nominal expiry date of a pre-reform certified agreement has elapsed, either party can apply to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to have the agreement terminated. If this type of agreement is terminated but not replaced by a new workplace agreement under WorkChoices the minimum conditions of employment for employees are subject to the applicable Federal award or NAPSA, whilst those provisions dealing with leave are covered under the Fair Pay and Conditions Standard where the Standard is equal to or more favourable than the relevant leave provision in the award or NAPSA.

Terminating a pre-reform State agreement

Q. Our employees are currently under a preserved collective State agreement that is now past its nominal expiry date. We are currently in negotiations regarding a new agreement, however I'm wondering what employment conditions will continue to apply to our employees if the company applies to have the agreement terminated through the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and no other arrangement is put in its place?

A. If a preserved collective State agreement (PSA) is terminated and not replaced by a new workplace agreement under WorkChoices, the employees minimum conditions of employment will be governed by the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard (AFPCS) and the other conditions prescribed by the WRAct.

Minimum conditions include:- the Federal minimum wage ($12.75 p.hr), default casual loading (20%), 38 hour week, four weeks' annual leave, 10 days' personal/carer's leave, 52 weeks unpaid parental leave, unpaid meal break of 30 minutes after five hours work, prescribed paid public holidays, two days compassionate leave per occasion, and notice of termination by the employer.

Protected preserved conditions

From 15 December 2007, if a PSA is terminated but not replaced by a new workplace agreement the 'protected preserved conditions' will apply in addition to the Standard and other guaranteed conditions under the Act. 'Protected preserved conditions' include terms such as rest breaks, incentive-based payments and bonuses, annual leave loadings, monetary allowances (including expense-related, skill-based and disability allowances), observance or payment with respect to public holidays, loadings for overtime or shift work, penalty rates, and outworker provisions.

Related

Employers coverage generally

  

 

Post details