Difference between awards and enterprise agreements
Awards cover a whole industry or occupation setting out minimum pay rates and employment conditions across those industries and occupations. Awards are currently handed down either by Fair Work Australia or by a state industrial relations commission.
Enterprise agreements are customised to meet the needs of individual organisations/enterprises. These agreements are negotiated voluntarily between employers and employees (or a union acting on behalf of employees) and must either be lodged with a relevant authority or approved by a relevant tribunal. When negotiating an enterprise agreement it is imperative to be aware of the content of the modern award affecting your industry or occupation or your client’s industry or occupation as under an enterprise agreement an employee must be better off overall when conditions in the agreement are compared to the relevant award. Understanding the content of the relevant award will also determine whether there is merit for a particular enterprise or occupation to go to the trouble of negotiating an enterprise agreement
This commentary has been authored for LexisNexis by Elise Margow. The first issue of this title was prepared by Francis Marks, LLM (Syd ). Subsequent issues of the title were updated by Joe Catanzariti BA, LLB, Partner, Clayton Utz and Yaseen Shariff BEc (Social Science), LLB (Hons), Barrister-at-Law and Michael Byrnes B Bus, LLB (Hons) (with the assistance of Sadaat Cheema and Nicole Landerer).
This commentary is with the assistance of Specialist Editor Justine Turnbull, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw Australia.