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CEO Update

What is a Bargaining Representative? Can I have one as an Employer?


Simply put, a bargaining representative is a person (or organisation) elected to, whilst acting in good faith, enter into the bargaining for an enterprise agreement on behalf of a person or group of people.   

I am an employer.  Can I have a bargaining representative? 

Yes, you can.  Both employees and employers are entitled to elect to have a bargaining representative to represent their interests during the bargaining process. Sections 176 and 177 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) sets out who can be a bargaining representative. 

As an employer association, Master Builders Association of the ACT can be elected as an employer bargaining representative.  

What is the process for appointing a bargaining representative? 

Any person wishing to appoint a bargaining representative must do so in writing (by way of an instrument of appointment).  The exception to this rule is where an employee is a member of a union – the union will be the default bargaining representative for this person, unless they appoint themselves or another person to represent their interests in writing. 

What is ‘good faith bargaining’? 

Good faith bargaining is intended to be exactly how it is described – where all bargaining representatives act in an appropriate and productive manner.  The requirements of good faith bargaining are set out in Section 228 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).  

Where good faith bargaining requirements are not followed, an application can be made to the Fair Work Commission for intervention in the process.   

Further information 

Its not too late to register for the Member Workshop next Wednesday (8am) where Malvin Khaira, IR & Legal Adviser, will be discussing all things Enterprise Agreements. 

Click here to register for this session. 

For further information about bargaining representatives and enterprise agreements, reach out to the IR & Legal Team on (02) 6175 5900.