Changes to industrial relations laws mean that workplaces operating under a ‘zombie agreement’ – an agreement made before the Fair Work Act 2009 that is still in place beyond its expiry date – will no longer have agreements in operation as of 6 December 2023. Your employer had an obligation to make you aware of this change by 6 June 2023.
Employers are likely to try to move their employees onto the award, which will see disability workers worse off. However, working together with the union and other employees, we can petition your employer to join the industry-wide Disability MEA or get them to the table to bargain for a new workplace agreement. Your employer may apply for an extension of up to four years on your zombied agreement, but they must meet the specific requirements, one of which is to commence bargaining.
You are currently covered by a zombie agreement if you work for one of the following employers: Amicus Group, Annecto, Asteria Services Inc, Broadmeadows Disability Services, Carinya Society, Distinctive Options Day Services, EDAR, George Gray Centre, Ivanhoe Diamond Valley Centre, La Trobe Lifeskills, McCallum, Milparinka Inc, Mirridong Services, Moe Life Skills Community Centre, Murray Valley Centre, Noweyung Ltd, Onemda Association, Plenty Valley Community Health, and Windarring ATSS.
To improve working conditions across the sector, the best outcome is to have your employer sign up to the industry-wide Disability MEA. When workers across the sector come together, they can improve working conditions and improve the industry benchmark.
For more information, please contact your AEU organiser on 9417 2822.