Regulations amending fair work (modification of enterprise agreements) 2020 (the April amendment) have temporarily reduced the time to access the proposed amendment to a 7-day calendar enterprise agreement to 1 calendar day. Variable-hour contracts can be used for positions with ongoing needs, but actual numbers are expected to vary over time. Some variable contracts may offer a minimum or maximum weekly/monthly hours. The deadline for access to an agreement is the deadline that expires immediately before the start of the voting process. During the access period, staff must have access to a copy of a proposal to amend an enterprise agreement. Workers must be informed of the voting procedures for the amendment at the beginning of the access period. The Fair Work Commission will continue to expedite all requests to amend the agreements to be COVID19Applications@fwc.gov.au The comments below will help determine when and how variable hours will be included in your contracts. This standard letter must be used when an agreement has been reached to temporarily vary the normal working time of a permanent salaried worker due to the COVID 19 pandemic. It is essential that employers understand that they cannot force a permanent worker to reduce his or her normal hours of work. There has to be an agreement. If you want to continue working, say that you continue to work in protest until you agree with your employer.

The Commission provides a checklist to help amend an agreement: if the parties to an agreement fail to reach agreement on a proposed amendment, the Commission can help them resolve their differences. To obtain Commission approval for an amendment to the enterprise agreement, a person covered by the agreement must submit an application for an F23 form available on our form page. If workloads fluctuate, no work may be required and working time may be reduced to zero. Possible formulations in such a case would be: “Their normal schedules vary. Your work week is organized according to a Rota. They are informed of the [weekly/monthly] hours. The company does not guarantee to provide you with a minimum or maximum number of hours.¬†In all cases, workers must have really agreed to amend an enterprise agreement. If the hours differ from one assignment to another, the following text is proposed: “Your schedules vary from one assignment to another. They will be informed of the work schedules at the beginning of each task.¬†Contracts often require a degree of flexibility and, in some cases, variable hours will be required in a contract. Your employer may change your working time: check to see if the contract stipulates that the employer can change certain terms of employment (“change”), for example.

B: Each of the parties to an enterprise agreement, a transitional instrument or a state instrument of Division 2B may ask the Commission to amend its agreement to eliminate any ambiguity or uncertainty. Enterprise agreements can be amended in two ways with the agreement of the Fair Work Commission: the possible formulas for which there are fixed hours: “Your normal working time [week/month] includes [X] hours. These hours are organized according to a Rota that the company communicates to you [every week/month]. “Employers should only use these clauses to amend a contract if they have a good reason, for example, the company is struggling financially and needs to reduce staff hours. Read the COVID-19 fact sheet: A Request to Change an Agreement (PDF) Employers and their employees may agree to vary an enterprise agreement, but such an amendment has no effect unless approved by the Fair Work Commission. If you fail to reach an agreement, you may want to consider bringing an employment tribunal right or suing your employer for breach of contract (this is called “breach of contract”).