Attempt to keep enterprise award rejected by FWA

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Attempt to keep enterprise award rejected by FWA

A Full Bench of Fair Work Australia has rejected an application to modernise an enterprise award that applied to the Queensland banking industry.

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A Full Bench of Fair Work Australia has rejected an application to modernise an enterprise award that applied to the Queensland banking industry.
 
Bank of Queensland agents and their employees will now revert to the banking modern award.
 
The Full Bench found that the 200 plus agents [operating owner managed branches or OMBs] supporting modernisation of the Bank of Queensland Agents Award had failed to make out a case to retain the instrument.
 
The consequence is that the modern award applies henceforth by force of item 9(3) of Sch 6 of the Fair Work transitional legislation.
 
The agents argued the Banking, Finance and Industry modern award (BFI) would limit the operational flexibility and viability of their businesses.
 
Full Bench rejected argument for enterprise award
 
The Full Bench noted:
‘… A comparison with the rates in Appendix B suggests that if the classification structure in the BFI award were to be applied in all of the OMBs, except in the case of very few employees there would not be significant increases in the wages actually paid. 
 
... There is a broad range of financial operations covered by the BFI award. The OMBs should not be regulated differently in relation to hours of work unless there are reasons of substance relating to the nature of OMBs. While the provisions presently in the agents award arrangements should be given some weight, it should be borne in mind that many employers will have some change in the spread of ordinary hours as a result of being covered by modern awards. The material before us in relation to trading hours does not suggest that the change will be too onerous overall, although there may be some minor cost increase in some OMBs.
 
... It was not suggested that there is anything in the nature of OMB operations which would make it appropriate that there be a regime of payments for overtime lower than that which applies under the BFI award. 
 
... The wage structure in the BFI award now serves as a safety net for a broad range of businesses. In the absence of good reasons to the contrary based on the needs of the enterprise, we think it should also apply as a safety net to the OMBs …’
 
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