Pre-Reform Certified Agreement: Understanding the Basics
In the Australian industrial relations system, a certified agreement is a legally binding agreement between an employer and its employees or a group of employees. It outlines the terms and conditions of employment, including wages, working hours, leave entitlements, and other employment-related matters.
Before the Fair Work Act 2009 was enacted, there were different systems for bargaining and certifying agreements, depending on the industry and the state. This resulted in a complicated and fragmented industrial relations landscape. To address this issue, the Australian Government introduced a new national industrial relations system under the Fair Work Act 2009.
However, there are still some pre-reform certified agreements that are still in operation. These agreements were certified under the previous industrial relations systems and have not been replaced or updated to comply with the Fair Work Act 2009.
If you are an employer or an employee covered by a pre-reform certified agreement, it is important to understand its status and implications. Here are some key points to consider:
1. Legal Validity: Pre-reform certified agreements remain legally valid and binding until they are terminated or replaced by a new agreement. However, they may not comply with the current legislative requirements, such as the National Employment Standards (NES) or the modern awards.
2. Pay and Conditions: Pre-reform certified agreements may have different pay rates, penalty rates, and overtime rates than the current modern awards or enterprise agreements. Employers and employees covered by these agreements should review their terms and conditions to ensure they are still fair and reasonable.
3. Dispute Resolution: Pre-reform certified agreements may have different dispute resolution procedures than the Fair Work Act 2009. Employers and employees covered by these agreements should be aware of the procedures for resolving disputes, including the role of the Fair Work Commission.
4. Termination: Pre-reform certified agreements can be terminated by mutual agreement or following the procedures set out in the agreement or under the Fair Work Act 2009. Termination may result in the transition to a modern award or an enterprise agreement under the Fair Work Act 2009.
In conclusion, employers and employees covered by pre-reform certified agreements should be aware of the terms and conditions of their agreements and how they compare with the current legislative requirements. If there are discrepancies or concerns, they should seek legal advice or consider negotiating a modern enterprise agreement. Understanding the status and implications of pre-reform certified agreements is an important part of navigating the complex Australian industrial relations system.