An enterprise agreement (or collective agreement) is an agreement made between a national system employer and some or all of its employees who are employed at the time the agreement is made. The agreement regulates minimum wages and employment conditions.

There are three types of enterprise agreements: single-enterprise agreements, multi-enterprise agreements, and greenfields agreements.

A single interest declaration (also known as a single interest employer authorisation) is a declaration that entitles multiple employers to use one enterprise agreement.

A multi-enterprise agreement is an agreement between two or more employers and their employees. The employers must:

  • not qualify as single-interest employers;
  • conduct the same type of business; and
  • wish to offer the same working conditions to their employees.

A greenfields agreement is an agreement you may wish to enter into if you are establishing or propose to establish a new enterprise (either alone or with other employers) and you have not yet employed anyone. This agreement will set out the terms and conditions of employment for your future employees.

The type of agreement you will need to use depends on whether your business already exists or has not yet employed anyone.

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) governs the requirements for making enterprise agreements.

However, enterprise agreements that are not made under the FW Act operate as unregistered or common law agreements. While you will not face a penalty under the FW Act if you breach an unregistered or common law agreement, there may be other legal risks of doing so. Seek legal advice if you no longer wish to be bound by the terms of an unregistered or common law agreement.


Top stories for Enterprise Agreements


Look to the EBA rather than the NES when determining what reasonable overtime is

Industrial Instruments

The National Employment Standards (NES) in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) entitles employees to refuse to work hours of work in addition to their ordinary hours (i.e. overtime) that are unreasonable. The NES sets out a range of factors […]

By Charles Power on January 29th, 2020

An EBA ballot doesn’t need to include employees who join during the voting period

Industrial Instruments

If you ask employees to vote on a proposed enterprise agreement you need to give them access to the proposed agreement for at least 7 clear days before the voting period. In the notice to employees about the voting period […]

By Charles Power on December 9th, 2019

Qantas sign-on bonus alleged to be adverse action

Industrial Instruments

In 2018 Qantas offered a bonus ($2,500 for full-time employees and $2,000 for part time employees). One of the conditions for receiving the cash component of bonus was that new enterprise agreement was voted up and approved. This has had […]

By Charles Power on November 27th, 2019

ANZ employee does not have to move branches, FWC rules

Industrial Instruments

ANZ Bank has been refused permission to appeal against a Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision that a bank teller could not be made to relocate to a more distant branch. The 68-year-old employee, who suffers from arthritis, was told that […]

By Portner Press on September 9th, 2019

EBA annual pay increases less than 3%

Industrial Instruments

Federal government data current for the March 2019 quarter shows that enterprise agreements (EBAs) are providing for annual pay increases of 2.7%, which is down slightly from the December quarter. Public sector employees covered by newly approved EBAs are faring […]

By Charles Power on August 16th, 2019

ACTU launches legal action against Qantas over its bonus scheme

Industrial Instruments

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has launched legal action against Qantas over its bonus scheme, which it claims is unlawful adverse action. Qantas announced the $2,000 bonus ($1,500 for part-time employees) and $500 travel credit in August last […]

By Portner Press on July 5th, 2019
3 workers meeting

Your questions answered: Are we allowed to limit the number of bargaining representatives when negotiating an enterprise agreement?

Industrial Instruments

Q Is an employer legally allowed to place a limit on the number of bargaining representatives that can participate during an enterprise agreement (EA) negotiation process? We have an EA that currently stipulates a total of seven bargaining representatives can […]

By Portner Press on April 26th, 2019

Your questions answered: Can we change employees’ hours?

Industrial Instruments

Q We are in the process of relocating one of our centres. As part of this relocation, we are extending the operation hours of the centre. We have 13 part-time employees at our centre. They are all employed under an […]

By Portner Press on April 15th, 2019

Terminating an old enterprise agreement doesn’t undermine bargaining for a new one

Industrial Instruments

If an enterprise agreement has passed its nominal expiry date, it will continue to operate unless terminated or replaced. However...

By Charles Power on February 11th, 2019

EBAs finally made easier for business

Industrial Instruments

The Federal Government has finally passed legislation to give the Fair Work Commission the capacity to overlook minor procedural or technical errors when approving an enterprise agreement.

By Charles Power on December 17th, 2018