By Lucy Harper and Troy Wild, NRA Legal
In February this year the Turnbull Government quietly issued the Fair Work Amendment (Notice of Employee Representational Rights) Regulations 2017 (‘Regulation’), which was an amendment aimed at removing a technical barrier to approval of enterprise agreements. When negotiating a new enterprise agreement, an employer must take steps to notify employees of the right to be represented. The Regulations require an exact copy of the Notice of employee representative rights (‘NERR’) in Schedule 2.1 of the Fair Work Regulations 2009 to be provided to all employees covered by the proposed agreement and the notice cannot contain any other content.
The change to the Regulations omits the requirement for the current contact details of agencies from the NERR, which was previously required to be given. The inclusion of incorrect contact details on the NERR had led to the Fair Work Commission rejecting agreements in the past, which would otherwise likely have been approved.
The change to the Regulations affects the content of the NERR, and applies to parties who issue the NERR from 3 April 2017 onward. We note that any NERR issued to employees before 3 April 2017 must have complied with the previous legislation, and there is no capacity to depart from the template that was prescribed in the Regulations prior to this date.
We further note that any NERR issued on or after 3 April 2017 must comply with the updated amendments. The use of the pre 3 April 2017 NERR template on or after 3 April 2017 onward, may result in the Commission finding the NERR to be invalid.
Click here to access the new version of the NERR and related guide from the Fair Work Commission website.
NRA Legal can assist with any question you may have in relation to these changes and the enterprise agreement making process. We can also assist to negotiate and draft an Enterprise Agreement on your behalf. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to call us today on 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245).