Before you start bargaining, ensure that you are familiar with bargaining and the purpose of engaging in it.
Bargaining representatives may be nominated to participate in bargaining for an agreement.
Bargaining representatives are required to act in good faith so that bargaining is fair and efficient, so it is important that you understand your obligations as a representative.
There are several mandatory steps that must be taken when starting to bargain for a proposed enterprise agreement. Some of these steps have specific timeframes set by the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) which must be met. You should familiarise yourself with these timeframes.
Understand the main terms in the agreement making process including the better off overall test (BOOT), National Employment Standards (NES), access period, date of notification, award and notice of employee representational rights (NERR).
When you are ready to lodge your agreement for approval, it will need to be accompanied by certain forms including the Forms F16, F17, F18 and F18A. It is important to be familiar with these forms at the outset, particularly the Form F17.
Think about how you will communicate with employees during bargaining and the approval process. Consider your usual method of communication and whether you need to make any adjustments so that all reasonable steps are taken. If you have any employees with special needs or circumstances, they may require additional assistance.