2.4m workers now under enterprise agreements


2.4m workers now under enterprise agreements

More than 2.4 million Australian workers are now covered by enterprise agreements, 350,000 since the Fair Work Act.


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More than 2.4m Australian workers are now covered by enterprise agreements, 350,000 since the Fair Work Act.

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said the Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining report for the September quarter 2011 shows that by 30 September last year there were 22,731 agreements in place covering over 2.4 million employees across a range of industries.

‘This report shows collective bargaining at the enterprise level has allowed workplaces to set pay and conditions suiting the needs of employees and enterprises,’ he said.

Strong growth
The report shows some industries that traditionally relied on awards for pay and employment conditions have experienced even stronger growth in agreement making.

Current agreements in accommodation and food services grew by almost 20%, while the number of employees covered by agreements in the industry more than doubled.
The report, by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), also shows the Fair Work system is delivering ‘sustainable’ wages growth.

Moderate wage growth
‘The average annualised wage increase for agreements approved under the Fair Work Act stands at 4% — a moderate outcome,’ Shorten said.

‘Importantly, agreements under the Fair Work system contain a range of provisions with the potential to improve productivity in workplaces.’

‘Almost 44% of agreements contain a clause committing to improving productivity, more than 94% of agreements have clauses to do with flexible engagement of employees and almost three-quarters of agreements provide flexibility in the hours of work.’

Shorten said many businesses and organisations are also investing in training and staff development, with almost 90% of agreements containing a clause relating to training.

‘It’s clear that employers and employees are getting on with the business of bargaining and embracing the flexibility of the Fair Work system,’ he said.

Detailed report

The report is a detailed one and provides a range of statistics including:
  • overall wages growth under federal enterprise agreements
  • private sector wages growth
  • public sector wages growth
  • industry level wages growth
  • state/territories wages growth
  • level of agreement making


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