Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBAs) are agreements made at an enterprise level between employers and employees about terms and conditions of employment. An EBA may include additional, adjusted or more favourable terms, such as higher wage increases, consultative processes and/or dispute resolution procedures.

EBAs must not include any unlawful content. The EBA must leave employees better off overall when comparing terms and conditions with the applicable industry Modern Award.

Why Use Enterprise Bargaining Agreements?

We talk our clients through the advantages and disadvantages of EBAs compared to a simple employment contract.

If your business meets any of these criteria, then you may benefit from operating under an EBA:

  • Pay above Award rates
  • Have a complex Award which applies to their workplace, or a number of Awards which apply to their workplace
  • Is a new business with few employees which is expecting rapid short -erm growth
  • Have a workforce which desires flexibility to vary Modern Award conditions
  • Work on government or large industry-based contracts (particularly building) where sometimes a condition of tender is that an EBA is in place.

What makes an effective Enterprise Bargaining Agreement?

For an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement to be effective it needs to:

  • provide a framework that is give and take
  • assist the organisation to be flexible and nimble in order to create a sustainable business that can operate effectively in its specific industry.

Good EBAs provide this for both employees as well as organisations.

What does the bargaining process involve?

The key to successful bargaining outcomes is preparation. Think ahead about factors such as:

What are the ‘must haves’ for the business from the bargaining?

What does the company want to achieve from the EBA?

  • Make sure that you understand the breadth of the bargaining laws and the rights and obligations that go with them.
  • The nature of the relationship between management and the workforce
  • The level of union involvement in the business, and their level of influence on employees
  • Contingency planning. If the negotiations breakdown and employees seek to pursue protected industrial action, how will the company maintain supply to its customers and clients?
  • Prior knowledge of likely claims by employees and their representatives.

If you need some help with implementing or understanding if an EBA would work for your business, please give us a call at HR Gurus 1300 959 560.

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