Farewell “Zombie Agreements”
From today, 7 December 2023, all remaining agreements made before 2010 (also referred to as “Zombie Agreements”) are automatically terminated unless a prior extension was granted by the Fair Work Commission or the extension request is yet to be considered.
Common types of pre-2010 Zombie Agreements include; Certified Agreements, Collective Agreements, Australian Workplace Agreements, Individual Transitional Employment Agreements and Enterprise Agreements made by the Fair Work Commission between 1 July 2009 and 31 December 2009.
For those employers who previously operated under a Zombie Agreement and have not replaced their agreement with a new registered Agreement, from today your employees will now automatically be covered by and entitled to the minimum pay and conditions set by the relevant Modern Award for your industry. In some cases, there may be no Modern Award or agreement that now applies to your employees. If this is the case, the employment conditions for these employees are set out in the National Employment Standards and these employees are entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
Where your employees are now covered by a Modern Award, it is vital that you understand new terms and conditions of employment that will apply. Due to most Zombie Agreements being created prior to the commencement of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the introduction of the Modern Award system, there may be substantial differences between your Zombie Agreement and the Modern Award entitlements that now apply.
These differences could relate to the following entitlements:
- Minimum pay rates and Classifications;
- Penalty Rates, Loading and Allowances; and
- Hours of Work and Overtime.
Non-compliance and breaches of these new conditions and entitlements can lead to substantial penalties for an employer, so immediate action should be taken to review employee entitlements to avoid the risk of non-compliance.
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If you would like more information on the impact the termination of Zombie Agreements might have on your organisation or the appropriate Award coverage for your employees, please contact us today to see how we can support you and your organisation!