12.09.2016

APS advised on Fair Work ruling as protracted pay talks face further delay


Federal agencies still in enterprise bargaining should take note of last week’s Fair Work Commission ruling and review their current notices of employee rights, but the public service commissioner sees nothing to be alarmed about.

The FWC full bench ruled in a recent August 25 hearing of the long-running Uniline case — a curtain manufacturer — that a late or badly worded notification of representational rights is not valid and makes it impossible for the commission to ratify any subsequent enterprise agreement.

Some agencies have recently re-issued their notices “to correct errors or address other technical issues” according to the Australian Public Service Commission, which advises them to go back and check they took the right steps in light of the FWC ruling.

In new guidance, the APSC explains these agencies that re-issued the notification of employee rights should have effectively stopped the bargaining process and agreed to re-start it immediately, resetting the 14-day time limit on the notification and making the new one valid. But the APSC says the FWC isn’t clear on how one does that:

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.