Agreements set out the conditions of employment between:
- employees in a workplace
- their employer.
From 1 January 2010, enterprise agreements can only be made between employees and employers. The union has a right to be involved representing members and can be “covered” by the agreement.
Other types of agreements made previously under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 cover the conditions of individual employees, or a group of employees. These include:
- collective agreements
- AWAs (Australian Workplace Agreements)
- ITEAs (Individual Transitional Employment Agreements).
Those agreements made prior to 1 January 2010 will continue on until they are terminated or replaced. No new individual agreements can be made after 1 January 2010.
Enterprise agreements can be made by an employer with a group of employees, or (in particular circumstances) by more than 1 employer with a group of employees.
Enterprise agreements can also be made by an employer and one or more unions for a genuine new enterprise before any employees that would be covered by the agreement are employed. These agreements are called greenfields agreements.
Any agreement made prior to 1 January 2010 remains in force until it is replaced by another agreement or terminated. Some of these agreements are individual agreements, called ITEAs and AWAs. If the employer agrees, it is possible to negotiate a replacement agreement prior to the expiry date of these agreements. Otherwise, they continue to operate until they are terminated or replaced.
ITEAs and AWAs can no longer be made.