Enterprise Agreement Bargaining: A Guide to Negotiating a Fair Deal

Enterprise agreement bargaining is the process of negotiating a collective agreement between an employer and their employees. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, hours of work, leave entitlements, and other benefits.

Enterprise agreements can be made between an employer and a group of employees or a union, and they typically cover all employees in a particular workplace or industry. The aim of enterprise agreement bargaining is to ensure that both employers and employees have a fair and mutually beneficial arrangement.

Before the Bargaining Process

Before entering into enterprise agreement bargaining, it is important for both employers and employees to prepare. Employers should ensure they have a clear understanding of their financial position and what they can offer their employees. Similarly, employees should be aware of what they are looking to achieve from the enterprise agreement bargaining process.

Employers should also consider any wider industry trends or regulations that may affect employment conditions and incorporate those factors into their proposals. Similarly, employees should research the market rate for their position and use that information to negotiate their terms.

During the Bargaining Process

During enterprise agreement bargaining, both parties need to be open and transparent with each other about their needs and expectations. Communication is key to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

Employers should be prepared to listen to their employees` needs and negotiate in good faith. Similarly, employees should be willing to compromise when necessary to ensure the overall agreement is advantageous for all parties.

It is important to note that all parties must be mindful of legal requirements during this process. Employers must ensure that any proposed agreements comply with relevant legislation and regulations, while employees should seek advice from their union or legal representation if necessary.

After the Bargaining Process

Once an agreement has been reached, it is vital to document it clearly and unambiguously. The agreement should include all the details of employment conditions, including wages, hours of work, leave entitlements, and benefits.

Employees should receive copies of the enterprise agreement, and employers should ensure they are following the agreement to the letter. This is a critical step to ensure that both parties are abiding by the terms of the agreement and are protected in the event of any disputes.


Enterprise agreement bargaining can be a lengthy process, but it is a crucial step in creating a fair and equitable workplace for all. Both employers and employees should approach the bargaining process with an open mind and a willingness to negotiate in good faith. By following the right steps and being mindful of all legal requirements, both parties can achieve a mutually beneficial agreement that is fair and sustainable for all.