Since the enactment of the Fair Work Act, parties to Australian federal collective agreements have submitted their agreements to Fair Work Australia for approval. Before approving a company agreement, a tribunal member must be satisfied that the workers employed under the agreement are generally “better off” than if they were employed under the corresponding modern arbitration award. The parties approve the proposed company agreements between them (in the case of workers, the matter is put to the vote). The Fair Work Commission then evaluates them for approval. (Under the Fair Work Act 2009, agreements have been renamed “Company Agreements” and are submitted to the Fair Work Commission to assess claims against modern public procurement and verify breaches of the law.)  A standard company agreement would take three years. Enterprise bargaining is an Australian term for a form of collective bargaining in which wages and working conditions are negotiated at the level of different organisations, unlike sectoral collective bargaining in entire sectors. Once established, they are legally binding on employers and workers covered by the company negotiation contract. A company agreement (EA) consists of a collective agreement between an employer and a union acting on behalf of workers or an employer and workers who act for themselves. The Fair Work Act 2009 provides a simple, flexible and fair framework that helps employers and workers negotiate in good faith to enter into a company agreement.  The decision of the High Court of Australia in Electrolux against The Australian Workers` Union highlighted an important legal issue regarding company agreements.
The question was what these industrial instruments could cover. The Australian Labour Relations Board ruled on the matter in 2005 in the three certified agreements. Under Australian labour law, the 2005-2006 industrial reform, known as “WorkChoices” (with the corresponding amendments to the Workplace Relations Act (1996), changed the name of these contractual documents to “Collective Agreement”. National labour legislation may also impose collective agreements, but the adoption of the workchoices reform will reduce the likelihood that such agreements will be concluded. Of the authorized employees who voted, 94.7 percent of the staff of the diocesan schools and 93.2 percent of the staff of the religious institute/public lawyers schools voted in favor of the agreements. EAs had a unique feature in Australia: during the negotiation of a collective agreement of a federal undertaking, a group of workers or a trade union could, without legal sanction, take industrial action (including strikes) to pursue their rights. On the one hand, collective agreements benefit employers, at least in principle, as they allow for greater “flexibility” in areas such as normal working hours, fixed hours and performance conditions. On the other hand, collective agreements benefit workers, as they usually provide for wages, bonuses, additional leave and higher rights (e.g. B severance pay) than a bonus. [Citation required] Employers, workers and their negotiators are involved in the process of negotiating a proposed company agreement.
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