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What is a collective agreement?

Wednesday 12 June, 2019

A collective agreement is a type of employment agreement between employers and registered unions, that covers employees in the employer’s workplace.

As an employee, you may decide that your interests are best represented through a union and collective bargaining. A collective agreement is the formal employment agreement signed after the collective bargaining process.

Collective employment agreements:

  • cover at least two employees and are between at least one employer and at least one registered union;
  • can cover permanent, full-time, part-time, fixed-term and casual employees and may cover all or some of the employees in a workplace;
  • have a clause saying exactly what type of employees and what types of jobs are covered by the agreement; and
  • can be joined by extra unions and employers if the collective agreement specifically allows for this to happen.

If you are not a member of a union, you can bargain collectively with an employer or employers but it can’t end in a collective employment agreement, only an identical or very similar individual employment agreement.