See Fair Work Act 2009 s.180
The access period for a proposed enterprise agreement is the 7-day period ending immediately before the start of the voting process to approve the proposed enterprise agreement.
The access period consists of 7 clear calendar days.
If an employer plans to request that employees vote on the proposed agreement on Wednesday 25 February 2015, the access period will run from after midnight Tuesday, 17 February 2015 to midnight Tuesday, 24 February 2015.
The employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that:
The employer must take all reasonable steps to notify the relevant employees of the following by the start of the access period for the agreement:
Neither of subsections 180(2) and (3) of the Fair Work Act require the employer to do, in absolute terms, the things set out in those subsections. What is required by each subsection is for the employer to take all reasonable steps to do the things required.
As a result it may be, in a particular case, that an employer has notified some or all of the employees of the date, place and method of voting after the start of the access period, but on the facts of the particular case, the Fair Work Commission might not be satisfied that the employer took all reasonable steps to do so by the start of the access period.
The voting process described in s.181(1) of the Fair Work Act is the process that is characterised by an employer that will be covered by a proposed enterprise agreement requesting 'the employees employed at that time who will be covered by the agreement to approve the agreement by voting for it'. The request made by the employer is to approve the agreement by voting for it.
An agreement may only be approved through a vote of employees employed at the time of the vote who will be covered by the agreement. The request to approve the agreement and the vote are not separate stages of the voting process. The voting process starts when an employee is first able to cast a valid vote to approve the agreement and not at some earlier time when an employer may provide to employees the ballot paper.
See Fair Work Act s.180(5)
For the Commission to be satisfied that there was genuine agreement the employer must take all reasonable steps before requesting that the employees vote to ensure that:
The purpose of this explanation is to enable the employees to cast an informed vote, so that they know what it is they are being asked to agree to, and to help them to understand how their wages and working conditions might be affected if they vote in favour of the agreement.
In order for the Commission to determine whether the employees had genuinely agreed to the agreement, it needs to consider whether the employees were likely to have understood its terms and effect.
Without knowing the content of the explanation, the Commission cannot be satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the terms and their effect had been explained to the employees who voted on the agreement, or that they have genuinely agreed to the agreement.
A simple statement by an employer that an explanation has been given is not enough to satisfy the Commission that the requirement to explain the terms of the agreement has been met. In order to be satisfied, the Commission must consider the content of the explanation and the way it was given, having regard to all the circumstances and needs of the employees, and the nature of the changes made by the agreement.
See Fair Work Act s.181(1)
An employer that will be covered by a proposed enterprise agreement may request the employees employed at the time, and who will be covered by the agreement, to approve the agreement by voting for it.
 Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union and Ors v CBI Constructors Pty Ltd  FWCFB 2732 (Hatcher VP, Dean DP, Hunt C, 21 June 2018) at para. 42.
 See for example Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union v Dawsons Maintenance Contractors Pty Ltd  FWCFB 2992 (Catanzariti VP, Hamilton DP, Wilson C, 11 July 2018).
 Fair Work Act s.180(2).
 Fair Work Act s.180(3).
 Australian Municipal, Administrative, Clerical and Services Union v TAB Agents Association (SA Branch) Inc.  FWCFB 3545 (Boulton J, Gostencnik DP, Blair C, 17 July 2015) at para. 12.
 ibid., at para. 18.
 ibid., at para. 20.
 One Key Workforce Pty Ltd v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union  FCAFC 77 (25 May 2018) at para. 115.
 ibid., at para. 172.
 ibid., at para. 113.
 ibid., at para. 112.