Swinburne Enterprise Agreement

McDermott Australia Pty Ltd`s (FWC) Fair Work Commission decision against The Australian Workers` Union – The Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union, known as the Australian Manufacturing Workers` Union (AMWU) [2016] FWCFB 2222 (McDermott Case) points out that casual workers may be allowed to vote on an enterprise agreement even if they do not do work at the time of the vote. The Fair Labour Act provides that the group of employees who can pass a proposed enterprise agreement is “the worker employed at the time of employment.” In the case of a strictly literal reading, this would mean that a casual or meeting employee who does not work accurately at the time of the vote could not be included in the voting pool. Full Bench felt that such an approach would be too technical and could yield absurd results. Casual workers can vote on the approval of an enterprise agreement. Whether or not casual workers can vote in favour of a new enterprise agreement depends on a number of factors, including whether they have accepted an ongoing job with the employer, the conditions under which they are employed, and what their work includes in relation to the work in progress. In order to ensure the proper formation of electoral pools and to maximise the potential of an enterprise agreement, it is essential that employers in the education sector take an objective, transparent and logical approach to deciding who should be excluded or excluded from the vote. This is particularly the case when a large number of meeting or used employees may be covered by the agreement. It will not be enough to simply include in the voting pool all casual workers and sessions who worked the previous year. It should be shown that a work model and an ongoing working relationship are established. The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) provides that “an employer who is covered by a proposed enterprise agreement may ask salaried workers covered by the agreement to approve the agreement by vote” (section 181.1).” The full FWC bank found that (unlike the Swinburne case, where all workers – including inactive workers – were allowed to vote on the agreement) with respect to the approval of the enterprise agreement in the McDermott case, the “36 active workers” were invited to vote on the agreement [at paragraph 25].