29/06/2015Bargaining, Negotiation, Enterprise Agreements

Answer: ‘EBA’ stands for Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and it is a generic term referring to enterprise agreements.

Many different terms have emerged over the years which have different meanings.

The term used in the Fair Work Act is ‘Enterprise Agreement’. As most all Australian employers are covered by the Act, this is the most correct term to be used. The term ‘Enterprise Agreement’ emerged in July 2009 after it replaced various types of collective and individual workplace agreements that existed under the previous workplace relations system.

‘Enterprise Bargaining’ refers to the process by which one or more employers and employees negotiate the terms and conditions which make an agreement. It normally refers to the process of collective negotiations rather than employers negotiating employment contracts with individual employees.

A ‘Collective Agreement’ (CA) is the previous term used for enterprise agreements under the repealed Workplace Relations Act 1996 (also known as the ‘Work Choices’ legislation).

‘AWAs’ or ‘Australian Workplace Agreements’ were statutory individual agreements negotiated by the employer and employee under the Workplace Relations Act. The making of new AWAs were abolished in 2008, however existing AWAs were not abolished.

A ‘Workplace Agreement’ was a generic term also used under the Workplace Relations Act to categorise both enterprise agreements and ‘AWAs’. Despite enterprise agreements covering the enterprise and AWAs covering the individual, the term had a collective flavour as many employers used the same AWAs with all their employees.

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