Manufacturing Enterprise Agreement
Full Bench`s decision concerned the appeal of a decision by Vice-President Barclay, which found that the Board was competent to rule on a Denern-related dispute over Dies in an expired and replaced enterprise agreement. The Commission has jurisdiction over the handling and resolution of disputes if expressly authorized by a dispute settlement clause in an enterprise agreement (2). The persistence of the dispute resolution power with the end of the agreement has been the subject of conflicting decisions by the Commission. The 2014 agreement came into force on 10 December 2018, when it was replaced by the Simplot 2018 Enterprise Agreement (2018 agreement). The Vice-President explained that the Commission was still competent to resolve the dispute, that at the time of the dispute only the 2014 agreement applied and that the 2018 agreement did not have the effect of lifting or extinguishing the previous agreement reached between the parties under the 2014 agreement on the communication of disputes to the Commission. In particular, in the event of a replacement of an agreement, unless the new agreement provides for a mechanism for “conservation” of existing disputes, there will be no jurisdiction for the Commission to deal with such disputes, even if the dispute had been notified during the implementation of the agreement. The termination of the operation of an enterprise agreement means that the dispute settlement rights under this agreement no longer exist. Instead, the onus is on the party pursuing the case to assert a violation of the agreement in the course of a judicial proceeding. A recent decision by a full-fledged Bank of the Commission for Fair Work1 resolved conflicting authorities and provided significant clarity on the limits of the Commission`s power to hear and determine disputes in enterprise agreements that are no longer in force (for example. B because they expired and were replaced by a new agreement).
Full Bench found that, despite their termination of contract, workers are not open to deciding a dispute as part of a replacement agreement to bring a dispute to court for an alleged violation of the 2014 agreement. While it is recognized that this would likely be more difficult than the settlement in the litigation process of an agreement, the inconveniences of that procedure could not be ignored by the fact that the jurisdiction to resolve the dispute simply did not exist.