News Desk


Gain a competitive advantage by
tailoring your Enterprise Agreement negotiations

“Innovate or Die” is a commonly quoted phrase when organisations are planning for the future. To have a positive impact, innovative thinking needs to be targeted towards areas that will deliver sustainable and measurable benefits to the organisation, it’s consumers and employees. In aged care staff costs can represent as much as 75% of revenue, therefore it is essential to develop innovative strategies targeted at creating a more efficient and productive workforce.

An Enterprise Agreement provides an organisation the opportunity to design a tool to support best- practice recruitment, staff development, human resources management and retain the best staff in their industry. A tailored enterprise agreement allows an organisation to include innovative clauses to address issues that are important to their staff such as flexible work arrangements, training and ways to maximise hours available for staff to work. Everyone is aware costs are increasing at a faster rate than government funding so innovation is critical in enabling organisations to achieve better outcomes for both consumers and employees whilst working with within these budgetary constraints.

Involving employees in the negotiating process is crucial in producing an innovative agreement. Employers may think they know what issues are important to staff, but do they really? The Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) approach to agreement negotiations allows employers and employees to discuss the issues that are important to each party and workshop mutually beneficial approaches to address them. This approach allows organisations to deliver the lifestyle and care services required and creates an open and transparent relationship between employers and employees.

Examples of employee interests being included in their enterprise agreement

  • Fair pay – benchmarking industry standards, maintaining and improving income levels
  • Older workforce transition to retirement – flexibility to balance family and other life needs
  • Opportunity to increase skills and hours
  • Transparency of process and equal treatment in access to leave

The process of Interest Based Bargaining does not only favour the employees. In the same way staff have the ability to discuss important issues for them, employers can raise their interests, explain their vision and what content needs to be included in the agreement to ensure the organisation remains able to deliver its commitments to staff, residents and their families.

Examples of employer interests being included in agreements

  • Maintain and improve competitiveness of the business and organisation growth
  • Build a multi-skilled workforce to make jobs more interesting and open growth
  • opportunities for employees
  • Effective management of leave and rostering
  • Ensure a safe work environment for all

Interest based bargaining provides an opportunity to get employees actively involved in the negotiation process. It increases engagement as these employees can have a voice and represent their peers in the negotiation.

Realise Performance was approached by the Fair Work Commission to help champion the Interest Based Bargaining approach to agreement negotiations in 2017 and since this time have worked with the commission to successfully run the process on several occasions. Over this period feedback on the IBB process has been provided to the Commission and which has further improved the way the process is now conducted.

The Realise Performance consultant team can provide you information on how the process can work for your organisation to achieve an Enterprise Agreement that will deliver a competitive advantage for the recruitment, retention and development of your workforce.

Call Andrew Eadie on 0437 00 22 91 for a discussion on the benefits to your organisation from a tailored and well negotiated agreement.