Important Change to Enterprise Agreement Variation

A new regulation issued by the Australian Government on 16 April 2020 will assist employers and employees to vary Enterprise Agreements during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Fair Work Amendment (Variation of Enterprise Agreements) Regulations 2020 shorten the period that the employees must have access to a copy of a proposed variation from seven days to one day before the vote. Employees are still required to have genuinely agreed to the proposed variation and a copy of the agreement as proposed to be varied must be discussed with and explained to all employees prior to a vote.

Variations that could be agreed upon between employers and employees may include:

  • Delaying or cancelling future wage increases that are scheduled to be paid;
  • More flexible working hours arrangements;
  • Removing restrictions on part-time employment; and
  • Implementing more flexible leave arrangements.

This new regulation applies in relation to the access period for a proposed variation of an Enterprise Agreement that starts on or after 17 April 2020 and will remain in force for at least the next 6 months.

The Fair Work Commission has implemented a fast-track process for urgent applications to vary Enterprise Agreements to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Applications can be filed by emailing

Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice. For more information on Enterprise Agreements, call NECA Legal (WA) Pty Ltd on (08) 6241 6129 or email