Enterprise Agreements can be made under state or federal legislation. Only Agreements made under the South Australian Fair Work Act 1994 are dealt with by SafeWork SA.
Enterprise Agreements provide the opportunity to introduce changes relating to wages, working conditions and productivity improvement measures as an alternative to industry-wide awards. They also provide the opportunity to give recognition to many existing workplace arrangements.
An agreement can be negotiated by an employer:
- giving 14 days notice of their intention to commence negotiations
- advising employees of their rights and access to awards and
- advising any association with members
Negotiations can involve:
- the whole workforce
- employers or employees representatives or committees
- associations or agents may also be involved
Once an agreement has been reached it must:
- be in writing
- meet the requirements of the Act and
- have the support of the majority of employees
Application is then made to the Industrial Relations Commission within 21 days of the agreement being signed by the employees or their representatives. The agreement can be approved by the Commission for a maximum of 3 years, if it meets a 'not inferior' test.