Labour agreements—busier, but faster than ever—and with new information packs
Hello again from Labour Agreements Policy section. In this post we won’t be going into what a labour agreement is because we’ve covered that ground before in previous blog posts. Instead, we’ll be reviewing the past 12 months and talking about further improvements to our program.
In short, this year has been busy—between 1 September 2011 and 1 September 2012 we have received 103 formal requests for a labour agreement. During the same period, 75 labour agreements were approved, five were declined and a further 14 were withdrawn.
We are now turning around labour agreement negotiations in a median timeframe of six months—a vast improvement on where we were two years ago when the average negotiation time was 11 months. A number of streamlining measures were implemented in the negotiation and approval processes to improve these timeframes.
We’re also hoping for even quicker processing with the introduction of a new labour agreements information pack launched this week. The pack includes templates to help employers understand the program requirements and prepare better quality submissions to the department. This additional resource for employers should lead to better quality submissions and supporting information, which will mean it is easier and faster for us to assess.
Please note though, there is a significant backlog of work and we usually process requests in the order they are received. At the moment, there is about a six to eight week wait for new submissions to be assigned to a case manager.
See here for the new information packs for standard, on-hire and meat industry labour agreements. Each comes with a PDF booklet and word document containing a business case proforma and consultation template letter.