Delegates’ rights terms to be inserted into Modern Awards

Delegates' rights terms to be inserted into Modern Awards

Delegates’ rights terms to be inserted into Modern Awards

One of the less publicised components of the Federal government’s Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Changing Loopholes) Act 2023 is the requirement for the Fair Work Commission to make determinations varying all modern awards to include a delegates’ rights term for workplace delegates by 30 June 2024. The Commission has established timetables that include the opportunity for relevant parties to make submissions before the matters are finalised.

Following the four-yearly review of 121 industry and occupational modern awards, all now contain model terms relating to:

  • consultation about major workplace change;
  • consultation about changes to rosters or hours of work and
  • dispute resolution.

Key provisions of the new 350C of the Fair Work Act 2009 include:

  1. Defining a ‘workplace delegate’ as a person appointed or elected, in accordance with the rules of an employee organisation, to be a delegate or representative (however described) for members of the organisation who work in a particular enterprise.
  2. Clarifying that the workplace delegate is entitled to represent the industrial interests of those members and any other person eligible to be such members, including in disputes with their employer.
  3. Clarifying that the workplace delegate is entitled to ‘reasonable communication’ with members and eligible members concerning their industrial interests), and ‘reasonable access’ to the workplace and workplace facilities.

These provisions will have no impact on employers who have union-endorsed enterprise bargaining agreements, as typically, the provisions relating to workplace delegates within the agreements are considerably more prescriptive and onerous than contemplated by the new legislation.

However, once finalised, the provisions will exceed the current clauses of the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020 and similar awards.

Workforce Advisory can work with Employers to develop standard letters to employees to ensure compliance with your enterprise agreement, including consultation obligations or the Modern Award.

We will provide updates as the matter proceeds before the Fair Work Commission over the next five months.

For queries about workplace delegates, unions, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 0417 622 178, 1300 WAL LAW or via email to

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Ref: 409.0224

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