There are over 100 industry and professional awards that cover most people who work in Australia. This means that many employees who are not covered by an agreement are most likely covered by a bonus. Company agreements can be tailored to the needs of certain companies. An agreement must improve the overall situation of an employee in relation to the corresponding price or prices. Company agreements can benefit employers because they can negotiate more flexible working conditions. Similarly, employees can negotiate higher salaries and additional benefits that a Standard Modern Award does not offer. If a job has a registered agreement, the bonus does not apply. However, other employment-related issues, such as occupational health and safety, long-term leave, and gender equality obligations, are largely regulated by states and territories (although federal laws may also apply) and are not covered by the fair work system. You can find information on these topics on other pages of the Information Hub (use the search tool and check the related resource area on the left). The Fair Work Act 2009 sets out strict rules and guidelines that all parties must follow to ensure that the process is fair. These include negotiation directives, binding conditions and requirements necessary to comply with the Authorization Standards of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

Company agreements are collective agreements concluded at company level between employers and employees on working and employment conditions. The Fair Work Commission can provide information on the process of establishing company agreements and evaluate and approve agreements. We can also look at disputes that arise over the terms of the agreements. Negotiations can take many weeks or months. It requires a lot of research, meetings and discussions with employers, workers and negotiators. Before the process begins, employers must inform employees of their intention to negotiate and give them sufficient time to find a suitable negotiator. You will find the new contract search in the FWA documents or find an agreement. Fair Work Australia will continue to review the tool and make further improvements in the coming months.

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