Go to top of page

Supporting Guidance: Part 7 - Enterprise Agreement Content

7 Enterprise Agreement Content

7.1 Enterprise agreements should:

  1. Be streamlined, clear and easy to read and contain clauses that either:
    1. are required by legislation and support the effective operation of the instrument; or
    2. provide entitlements to employees; and
    3. do not impose restrictive work practices and other arrangements that confine the operations of the agency, or in the case of the APS, the Service as a whole, or curb the effective operation of legislation.
  2. Include:
    1. a dispute resolution term equivalent to the model term in the Fair Work Regulations;
    2. a consultation term equivalent to the model term in the Fair Work Regulations; and
    3. an individual flexibility term that allows employees to enter into individual flexibility arrangements in respect of certain listed matters. Agencies are encouraged to bargain for a broader range of matters over which employees can enter into individual flexibility arrangements.
  3. Not include:
    1. unlawful and/or objectionable terms as outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009;
    2. terms that contradict, alter or limit the effect of provisions in the Public Service Act 1999 or relevant employing legislation.

7.2 Agencies must not supplement or enhance the right of entry provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009.

7.1 Streamlined enterprise agreements

7.1.1 Agencies will be required to demonstrate that a proposed enterprise agreement does not contain clauses which may unduly restrict management's ability to operate efficiently and effectively.

7.1.2 Enterprise agreements should be straightforward and user-friendly documents that simply set out the entitlements employees have in their employment in the workplace, and provide maximum flexibility for agencies to carry out their functions.

7.1.3 Enterprise agreements should not include terms that deal with matters which are more properly dealt with by legislation, for example, work health and safety or right of entry.

7.1.4 Operational, implementation or administrative matters that may be subject to change during the life of the agreement are more appropriately dealt with in separate policy documents, outside of the enterprise agreement.

7.1.5 Enterprise agreements should not contain ambiguous terms, large slabs of aspirational goals, or include onerous procedures and descriptive content from workplace policies that sit outside the enterprise agreement. Enterprise agreements should not incorporate such policies.

7.1.6 Enterprise agreements must include a dispute resolution term and a consultation term, and these terms should be equivalent to the model terms set out in the Fair Work Regulations. Agencies should not seek to provide additional dispute resolution or consultation procedures that would restrict a workplace from managing matters effectively and efficiently. In particular, there should be no terms included in an enterprise agreement that would provide third parties with the ability to veto or interrupt workplace improvements and managerial prerogative.

Individual flexibility term

7.1.7 The Fair Work Act requires an individual flexibility term to be included in an enterprise agreement. To ensure the provisions of the Fair Work Act are observed, individual flexibility arrangements must meet the requirements of the Fair Work Act or other relevantly applicable legislation. Agencies are encouraged to bargain for a broader range of matters in respect of which employees can enter into individual flexibility arrangements. As a minimum, an individual flexibility term must allow for an individual flexibility arrangement to deal with one or more of the following:

  1. arrangements about when work is performed;
  2. overtime rates;
  3. penalty rates;
  4. allowances;
  5. remuneration; and
  6. leave and leave loading.

Dispute resolution term

7.1.8 It is mandatory for a dispute resolution term to be included in an enterprise agreement. Agencies should also include a dispute resolution term in all other workplace arrangements.

7.1.9 Agencies should seek to implement the model dispute resolution term, or an equivalent term, without any additional prescriptive and/or restrictive arrangements that would complicate or draw out the dispute resolution process. Agencies should consult with the APSC where they wish to vary the model dispute resolution term. Dispute resolution terms must only cover matters arising under the agreement or the NES.

Consultation term

7.1.10 Agencies should seek to implement the model consultation term, or an equivalent term, without any additional prescriptive and/or restrictive arrangements that would confine managerial decision-making and the operations of the agency. For example, enterprise agreements should not include any requirements to consult on the engagement of employees or contractors.

7.2 Right of entry provisions

7.2.1 Agencies must comply with the right of entry provisions set out in the Fair Work Act. Agencies must not seek to expand these right of entry arrangements through enterprise agreements, other workplace arrangements, protocols or workplace policies.