The enterprise bargaining agreement, or EBA, is a crucial document that outlines the terms and conditions of employment for workers in a particular enterprise or industry. It is a legally binding contract between the employer and employees that sets out everything from wages and working hours to leave entitlements and overtime rates.
The EBA is renegotiated every few years, and 2020 is shaping up to be a significant year for many industries that will be negotiating their agreements. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing widespread disruption to the economy, many workers are feeling anxious about the future of their jobs and the security of their working conditions.
Some of the key issues that are likely to be on the table in EBA negotiations in 2020 include:
1. Wage increases: Amidst the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, many workers will be looking to secure steady wage increases to help them keep up with the cost of living. Employers, on the other hand, may be less willing to offer substantial raises given the financial pressure they are under.
2. Flexible working arrangements: With many employees working from home during the pandemic, there is likely to be a greater appetite for flexible working arrangements in EBAs. This could include provisions for working from home, compressed work weeks, or job sharing.
3. Job security: As businesses struggle to stay afloat during the pandemic, workers are understandably concerned about the security of their jobs. EBA negotiations could include provisions for job security measures such as redundancy payouts and notice periods.
4. Leave entitlements: The pandemic has highlighted the importance of paid sick leave for workers, and EBA negotiations are likely to reflect this. Employers may also be under pressure to provide greater leave entitlements for workers who need to care for children or elderly relatives.
5. Overtime rates: With many workers putting in longer hours during the pandemic, there may be a push for higher overtime rates in EBAs. This could incentivize employers to keep workloads manageable and help workers feel valued for their efforts.
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