Employers must provide employees who will be covered by a proposed enterprise agreement with a Notice of Employee Representational Rights when commencing the enterprise bargaining process. Notices must be in the precise form set out in the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth). 

As of today (3 April 2017), the prescribed wording for a Notice of Employee Representational Rights has been slightly amended.

The amendments, which are set out in the Regulations, remove the requirement to include the contact details of the Fair Work Ombudsman and Fair Work Commission Information Line, and update references to relevant provisions of the Act and Regulations. The amendments are intended to reduce some of the common errors being made by employers, and their representatives, when drafting notices of employee representational rights. Even a minor error in a notice can result in an enterprise agreement being rejected by the Fair Work Commission, and an employer being required to restart their bargaining process.

Any notice of employee representational rights issued on or after Monday 3 April 2017 must be consistent, both in form and content, with the new format set out in the Regulations. The notice cannot contain any content that is not prescribed by the Regulations.

Notices of employee representational rights given to employees on or after 3 April 2017 which do not comply with the new prescribed format will be invalid. As a valid notice is required before the Fair Work Commission can approve an enterprise agreement, it is very important that employers adhere to the new wording that is required.

Notices issued in accordance with the Regulations before 3 April 2017 will not be affected by the amendments.

If your organisation is commencing enterprise bargaining, please contact the Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety team for advice on ensuring that your bargaining process commences on the right foot (or, more accurately, using the right notice)