When putting an enterprise agreement out for a vote, employees eligible to vote are those who are ‘employed at the time who will be covered by the agreement’.1 Many employers think this includes all casual employees. This may not be true for your business.
In McDermott Australia Pty Ltd,2 which was recently decided by the Fair Work Commission (“FWC”), it was held that not all casuals who will be covered by the agreement were eligible to vote. The decision focussed on when an employee meets the criteria of being ‘employed at the time’ of the vote (ie during the voting period) and therefore eligible to cast a vote.
When can a casual employee cast a vote?
The effect of the FWC decision is that while some casuals may meet the first criteria of being covered by the agreement, a casual who is not required to work during the voting period will not be considered as ‘employed at the time’ (even though they may be a regular casual), and will not be eligible to vote.
Casuals who will be covered by the agreement and who are at work during the voting period must be allowed to vote.
A permanent employee who is on leave is still considered to be ‘employed at the time’ and must be given the opportunity to vote.
Require further information/assistance?
If you require further information or advice, please contact your local Consultant at either our Adelaide or Melbourne offices.