Recent amendments to Schedule 2.1 of the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) (“Regulations”) will establish a new prescribed form for the ‘Notice of Employee Representational Rights’ (“NERR”) which must be issued in enterprise bargaining.1 If your organisation is about to commence a bargaining process on or after 3 April 2017, your NERR must comply with the new form otherwise it may be invalid and ultimately prevent your enterprise agreement from being approved by the Fair Work Commission (“FWC”).
Amendments to the NERR
The amendments will commence on 3 April 2017 and will affect the form and content of the NERR. It is important to note that your NERR must comply with the form and content that is prescribed and in force at the time of issue. This means any NERR issued to employees before 3 April 2017 must comply with the current legislation. Any NERR issued on or after 3 April 2017 must comply with the amended Regulations. Issuing an NERR that is in the old format after this date may result in the FWC not approving your enterprise agreement.
The new NERR will be available once the amendments come into effect. You should always refer to the Regulations as found on the Federal Register of Legislation to ensure you are using the correct and most up to date information.2
Completing the NERR
To complete your NERR, you may wish to use the NERR Guide published by the FWC. Correctly drafting and issuing your NERR is an important step in the bargaining process that can affect the employer’s rights and obligations throughout the bargaining and approval process. If you are unsure about how to correctly describe the scope of your enterprise agreement or otherwise require assistance with commencing bargaining, we recommend you seek specific industrial relations advice. EMA Consulting can help prepare or check your NERR if required.
The EMA Guidance Notes available on our website will also assist you to understand some of the key considerations for employers during enterprise bargaining.3
Require further information/assistance?
If you require further information or advice, please contact your local Consultant at either our Adelaide or Melbourne offices.
1 Fair Work Amendment (Notice of Employee Representational Rights) Regulations 2017; https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00161