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Consultation - Introduction of Major Change in the Workplace



Quote from decision

11. Introduction of Major Change in the Workplace

This clause is standard in many awards of the Commission. It is included in the model order resulting from the Termination Change and Redundancy Case [(1984) 8 IR 34]. The subject matter is consultation with employees in relation to organisational change which is likely to affect their employment. We are unable to characterise the content of the clause by reference to any of the allowable award matters in s.89A(2) and we propose to delete it because it is not allowable. We reject the submission that paragraphs (m) and/or (n) are sufficient. For this purpose we have applied the approach adopted by the Full Bench in the CBAOA Case (cited earlier). Paragraph (m) deals with payment on termination by reason of redundancy, including the level and nature of the payment, while paragraph (n) deals with the notice of termination of employment to be given or received by an employee. Neither of these matters extends to consultation in relation to organisational change which may affect employment. We note that our conclusion is supported by a recent Full Bench decision in Telstra Corporation Limited and the CPSU [Print P3756 at 10].

[Full Bench, Print P7500 at 11]


The following clause was found not to be allowable.

Relevant award provision


11.1 Employers duty to notify

    Where an employer has made a definite decision to introduce major changes in production, program, organisation, structure or technology that are likely to have significant effects on employees, the employer shall notify the employees who may be affected by the proposed changes and their union.

    Significant effects" include termination of employment, major changes in the composition, operation or size of the employer's workforce or in the skills required; the elimination or diminution of job opportunities, promotion opportunities or job tenure; the alteration of hours of work; the need for retraining or transfer of employees to other work or locations and the restructuring of jobs. Provided that where the award makes provisions for alteration of any of the matters referred to herein an alteration shall be deemed not to have significant effect.

11.2 Employer's duty to discuss change

11.2.1 The employer shall discuss with the employees affected and their union, inter alia, the introduction of the changes referred to in subclause 11.1 of this award the effects the changes are likely to have on employees, measures to avert or mitigate the adverse effects of such changes on employees and shall give prompt consideration to matters raised by the employees and/or their union in relation to the change.

    The discussions shall commence as early as practicable after a definite decision has been made by the employer to make the changes referred to in subclause 11.1 of this award.

    For the purposes of such discussion, the employer shall provide in writing to the employees concerned and their union, all relevant information about the changes including the nature of the changes proposed; the expected effects of the changes on employees and any other matters likely to affect employees provided that any employer shall not be required to disclose confidential information the disclosure of which would be inimical to the employer's interests

[Print P7500]

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