Casuals excluded from enterprise agreement votes
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Casuals excluded from enterprise agreement votes

by Jason Roberts

March 19, 2019

While we were enjoying our Christmas holiday, the Fair Work Commission made a decision on 31 December 2018 that has an Australian-wide impact on enterprise bargaining voting rights for casual employees, Human Resources Director has reported. The decision reached could have a large impact on the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, which has a large casualised workforce.


In a contributor piece for the publication, Australian Business Lawyers and Advisors’ Luis Izzo explained that a Full Bench of the Commission handed down a decision outlining that “casual employees will not be entitled to vote on an enterprise agreement unless the employees are actually working on one of the days of the vote or (on a broader view) perhaps also during the access period for the enterprise agreement”.


Mr Izzo explained that the Fair Work Act provides that an employer may request all employees who are employed at the time to approve an enterprise agreement if they will be covered by the agreement. However, the decision handed down on 31 December 2018 stated that casual employees should be treated as commencing and finishing employment on each particular day of work, therefore, if a casual employee is not working during the time of an enterprise bargaining vote, the employee is not entitled to vote on the agreement.


Mr Izzo said that the state of the law is rapidly evolving, and suggests that employers give some thought to their rostering on days where an enterprise agreement vote is scheduled.


More background information and tips for employers are provided in the original article, which can be accessed here.

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