Enterprise Agreement making under Fair Work Act delivers for employers and employees

11 September 2012

More than 2.6 million working Australians and over 20,000 employers have benefited from enterprise agreements made under the Fair Work Act, since its commencement in 2009.

 On the third anniversary of the Act’s agreement making provisions, Minister for Workplace Relations Bill Shorten said today’s Trends in Enterprise Bargaining Report for the June quarter 2012 shows agreements are delivering sustainable wages growth and improved productivity to assist in helping businesses stay competitive. 

 “More than 20,500 enterprise agreements covering 2.62 million employees have been made since the agreement making provisions of the Fair Work Act began on 1 July 2009,” Mr Shorten said.

 “In the June quarter this year, almost 2200 Fair Work Act enterprise agreements were made covering an estimated 257,200 employees.  

 “It is encouraging to see workplaces taking up the enterprise agreement option, giving them the flexibility to set pay and conditions to suit the needs of both workers and employers.”

 Industries where strong growth in agreement-making has occurred under the Fair Work Act include:

  • Accommodation and Food Services, where the number of employees covered by agreements has increased by 100 per cent since 30 June 2009.

  • Financial and Insurance Services, where the number of employees covered by agreements has increased by 188 per cent since 30 June 2009.

 The report also shows the Fair Work system is delivering sustainable wage outcomes through enterprise bargaining that reflect the different circumstances of particular sectors and employers in our economy. 

 “The average annualised wage increase for agreements approved in the June quarter 2012 stands at 3.7 per cent – which is down from the 4.4 per cent outcome for the previous quarter,” Mr Shorten said.

 “Wages growth by industry in the quarter varied, for example 3.3 per cent for Information, Media and Telecommunications, 3.9 per cent in Manufacturing and 4.2 per cent in Education. This shows the Fair Work enterprise bargaining system is flexible and delivers sustainable and appropriate wage outcomes.” 

 Enterprise agreements made under the Fair Work system also continue to include a range of provisions to improve productivity in the workplace.

 “As at 30 June 2012, more than 48 per cent of agreements discuss a commitment to improve productivity,” Mr Shorten said.

 “Almost 95 per cent of agreements provide for the flexible engagement of employees, and more than 72 per cent provide flexibility in hours of work.

 “It’s good news that businesses and organisations continue to invest in training and staff development, with almost 90 per cent of agreements containing provisions relating to training.

 “Today’s report shows this Government’s workplace relations policies are delivering productive, competitive and fair outcomes for Australian employers and employees.”

 The June 2012 quarter Trends report is available at: