Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) refers to a legally binding agreement between an employer and employees, which sets out terms and conditions of employment, including wages, working conditions, leave entitlements, and dispute resolution mechanisms. In the Northern Territory (NT), EBAs are governed by the Fair Work Act 2009 and the National Employment Standards (NES) set by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
EBAs are negotiated between employers and employees, usually with the help of trade unions, and must pass a “better off overall test” (BOOT), which ensures that the agreement provides higher wages and better conditions than the award rate. An enterprise agreement can cover one business or several businesses that are part of a single enterprise.
EBAs are beneficial to both employers and employees. Employers can tailor the agreement to suit their business needs, often resulting in increased productivity and profit margins. Employees benefit from secure, higher-paying jobs and better working conditions than award rates.
In NT, like other states and territories in Australia, EBAs are the primary method of setting terms and conditions of employment. Before negotiating an EBA, employers and employees must consult with each other in good faith and provide a notice of employee representational rights. This allows employees to nominate their preferred representative to negotiate the agreement.
Once the EBA negotiation process begins, both parties must observe any bargaining orders set by the Fair Work Commission, which regulates the process. The Fair Work Commission may also approve the agreement if it passes the BOOT and meets other legal requirements.
EBAs in NT cover a wide range of industries, including healthcare, mining, education, and transport. They provide a framework for employers and employees to negotiate wages, working conditions, and dispute resolution mechanisms that are tailored to their respective industries.
In conclusion, an EBA is a legally binding agreement between an employer and employees that sets out terms and conditions of employment. It benefits both parties and is the primary method of setting wages and working conditions in NT and Australia. Employers and employees must negotiate in good faith and meet legal requirements to ensure that the agreement passes the BOOT and is approved by the Fair Work Commission.