The unions argued that ALDI was in the process of setting up a new business and that at the time of the agreement, none of the persons necessary for the normal behaviour of the company were employed. As a result, the new Regency Park branches were the beginning of a major new business or a “real new business,” he said. In accordance with the agreement s172 (2), an enterprise agreement was to be concluded with the workers employed at the time of the agreement, which were part of the agreement; or in the case of one or more unions involved, if the agreement relates to a genuine new business and if the employer had not employed the persons who would be necessary for the normal conduct of that undertaking and which would be covered by this agreement. The Fair Work Commission can also help employers and workers who are embarking on the “New Approaches” program. Learn more about the new approaches on the Fair Labour Commission website. The High Court confirmed that the Fair Work Commission`s decision was legal when it approved an enterprise agreement with existing employees who worked in another sector of the company but had not yet begun working as employees in a new company. The unions argued that it should have been an agreement in the green grasslands, with a view to an agreement with the Union. In 2015, Aldi built a distribution centre at Regency Park in southern Australia. Instead of negotiating a Greenfields agreement with the SDA, Aldi negotiated an operating contract for the distribution centre with 17 existing employees who were not active in the new company but who had accepted job offers who agreed to work in the distribution centre after opening. Some of these employees did not live in South Australia. The distribution centre was still under construction when a majority of these employees voted in favour of the agreement.  A Greenfields agreement is an enterprise agreement for a real new business (or proposed new business) A controversial feature of these agreements was the existence of “bankable” hours in which a worker would always receive his contract hours, but that if he had more hours than contracted, he would be able to pay those hours for hours of pay during which he would work less than his bank hours.
While each of the 17 employees who voted for the deal could be an ALDI employee, none of them were employed in the new company at the time of the agreement, as the new company had not yet been commissioned, according to the unions. Given that the 17 employees who voted on the agreement are covered by the agreement and are already employed by ALDI, the company is entitled to enter into an agreement with these employees as a single enterprise agreement and not as a Greenfields agreement, the bank said. In this case, the workers with the right to vote had not yet started working in the new company, but they were considered to be employed by the company on another site and were considered covered by the agreement because they had accepted job offers. This decision will have a considerable impact on employers who wish to avoid entering into agreements with the unions concerned on green fields. As a result, unions should seek an amendment to the Fair Work Act 2009 to address what they see as an unintended consequence of the legislation. Despite this decision, existing collective agreements and collective agreements, with high tariffs, continue to apply. “With recent legislative changes, we are optimistic that eAs will not be delayed by non-essential technical issues and that the FWC will now be able to deal quickly with the agreements for which our employees voted overwhelmingly.