Published 10 January 2016
The Fair Work Commission has held an Enterprise Agreement to be invalid due to formal deficiencies in the application process.
The application was accompanied by Statutory Declarations from both the employer the Maritime Workers’ Union suggesting that agreement had been within the previous fourteen days. However, it was apparent from the declarations that a majority vote had not been achieved amongst the employees. Thus it was held by the commission that agreement had not been made in accordance with s 181 (1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), and the agreement was therefore invalid.
Further, it was noted that there were various deficiencies in the Notice of Representation Rights – particularly in that it had contained content other than was prescribed by the regulations. Commissioner Cambridge was of the view that the legislative purpose of s 174 of the Act was to ensure strict formal compliance with this area of agreement making, and that ‘substantial’ compliance would not be enough. However due to the failure to comply with s 182(1), it was not necessary for the Commission to pursue this point.