If a union is trying to coerce an employer into taking out an enterprise agreement, does the employer have to ask the employees what they want? Or is it the employer’s decision?
No, the employer does not have to ask employees whether they wish to be covered by an enterprise agreement. However, this does not mean that it is solely the employer’s choice to enter into an agreement.
An employer can be compelled to negotiate an enterprise agreement if a majority support determination has been sought under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). This can be sought where a majority of the employees who would be covered by the agreement wish to bargain, but their employer does not.
Once the point is reached where there is a proposed agreement, whether as a result of negotiations or otherwise, it must be submitted to the employees who would be covered by the agreement for their approval. For a single-enterprise agreement, it must be approved by a majority of those casting a valid vote.