There are many reasons why organisations might want or need to put in place an enterprise agreement and Ridgeline HR has been helping clients to do this for over 15 years.
The process of making enterprise agreements is a complicated one from a technical procedural perspective but as important, in our view, are two things:
- ensuring that the agreement actually fits with the needs and culture of the business and
- involving your people and taking them through the process in a positive way.
It is very much about a partnership between business owners/managers and employees and treating the negotiation process as just another element of doing business to be managed accordingly while of course ensuring that legal requirements are satisfied along the way.
It is also about innovation and coming up with the right tailored solution for the business and its people because one size does not fit all and there is certainly scope to come up with simpler, more practical arrangements for businesses and their people than those that apply under modern awards. For example, you might want to:
- have a more relevant and better expressed classification structure that fits with the work that your people do
- preserve important local work practices that you and your people want to keep in place in preference to award provisions
- simplify pay structures by aggregating penalties and loadings into over award payments set off against those award provisions
- design an agreement that enables you to better service your customers and their future needs and improve long-term security for your business and your people
- implement flexible working arrangements over and above what is provided in the award and the NES.
Of course, people have to be better off overall under an enterprise agreement than they would be under an award but that doesn’t mean that you cannot make changes that deliver better arrangements for the stakeholders.
All of that helps to make a better workplace.