Enterprise Agreements and the Code

Enterprise agreements are agreements made between employers and employees (unless the enterprise agreement is a Greenfields agreement) about terms and conditions of employment for the employees involved. The Fair Work Commission deals with disputes arising under the terms of agreements. It also assesses and approves enterprise agreements.

The terms of an enterprise agreement must not be less beneficial to employees than the National Employment Standards. The terms must also be better overall than those contained in the relevant modern award. The Fair Work Commission applies a ‘better off overall test’ to the effects of the terms of enterprise agreements when considering whether it will approve the agreement.

There are three types of possible enterprise agreements that may be reached between employers and employees collectively. These are:

  • single enterprise agreements (covering a single enterprise)
  • multi enterprise agreements (covering more than one business or enterprise)
  • Greenfields agreements (covering new enterprises that do not have any employees yet).

Under section 11 of the Code, a code covered entity must not be covered by an enterprise agreement made on or after 25 April 2014 in respect of building work that includes certain types of clauses. We can assess your enterprise agreement and provide advice as to whether it meets the Code requirements.

Letter of Compliance

If you submit your enterprise agreement to the ABCC and it meets the Code requirements you will receive a Letter of Compliance.  The Letter of Compliance is valid for the life of the agreement, provided the agreement has not been varied, replaced or terminated.

If your enterprise agreement does not meet the Code requirements we will issue advice that explains the reason why.

How do I apply for a Letter of Compliance?

  1. Conduct your own review of your registered enterprise agreement and check the guidance material on our website.
    Conducting a review helps to ensure that your agreement is compliant. This streamlines the assessment process and allows us to get back to you as swiftly as possible.
  2. Submit your enterprise agreement.

Submit your enterprise agreement

How long does it take to assess an agreement?

It will take approximately four weeks to assess an enterprise agreement.

Agreements that are compliant, or mostly compliant, are much quicker to assess—so it's important that you conduct a preliminary review of your agreement before you submit it to the ABCC. In the unlikely event you don’t receive your assessment within four weeks, please call us on 1800 003 338 to check its status.

Preliminary Advice 

You can submit a proposed or draft enterprise agreement to be assessed. We can advise you whether a proposed agreement, if made and approved by the Fair Work Commission in a certain form, would become an enterprise agreement that meets the requirements of section 11 of the Code.

You need to:

Conduct your own review of your registered enterprise agreement and check the guidance material on our website.
Conducting a review helps to ensure that your agreement is compliant. This streamlines the assessment process and allows us to get back to you as swiftly as possible.

Submit your enterprise agreement

Individual Clauses

Individual clauses are much faster to assess than whole agreements. We can provide you with advice about these relatively quickly, usually within two business days.

You can submit individual clauses to agreements@abcc.gov.au.

Undertakings

As part of the process of approving an enterprise agreement, the Fair Work Commission may require an employer to give an undertaking. An undertaking is a written commitment by an employer to replace or modify a term of the Agreement with alternative text set out by the Commission.

An approved undertaking is taken to be a term of your agreement. Please be aware that any undertaking made will need to be consistent with the Code. For advice, please submit your proposed undertaking to agreements@abcc.gov.au.

Former Departmental Letters

Letters issued by the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations are not valid as they were issued under laws that are no longer in force.

If you previously relied on such a letter, you'll need to apply for an ABCC Letter of Compliance or complete a Self-Declaration.

To help you understand what you need to do to, we've developed a Proof of Eligibility Assessment Tool, which includes the forms you'll need to demonstrate compliance.

Proof of Eligibility Tool

Hotline

We know the progress of your enterprise agreement assessment is important to you.

That's why we have a dedicated hotline that you can call to find out how our assessment is progressing. Please contact 1800 003 338 between 8.30am and 5pm AEST and a dedicated case manager will be pleased to talk to you about the progress status of your application for preliminary advice or Letter of Compliance.

Please do not resubmit your enterprise agreement if you:

  • Conduct a review of your proposed or draft agreement and check the guidance material on our website.
  • would like an update on the progress of your enterprise agreement;
  • have made an error on your submission;
  • are unsure if we have received your submission;
  • are unsure if we have previously assessed this enterprise agreement; or
  • have misplaced your ABCC Determination/Letter of Compliance.

Instead, please email us at agreements@abcc.gov.au or call our Hotline on 1800 003 338.

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit our Enterprise Agreement FAQs page.

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