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  • Section B – Employee involvement

    EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT

    6. Consultation forum

    6.1

    There will be a National Consultative Forum (NCF) to facilitate communication and consultation on ATO-wide employment and workplace relations matters.

    6.2

    The NCF will:

     

     

    a) meet at least three times per year;

    b) establish and amend Terms of Reference by agreement; and

    c) have the number of employee representatives being equal to or greater than the number of management representatives.

    6.3

    There will be Group Consultative Forums which will be established under the Terms of Reference as determined by each forum.

    6.4

    Where agreement cannot be reached on matters before the Consultative Forums, the Commissioner will make a final decision.

    6.5

    It is a matter of sensible management practice that there is communication with employees and an exchange of ideas on changes that impact directly or indirectly on their employment. The ATO is committed to communicating with employees and their representatives on matters that affect them in the workplace.

    7. Consultation

    7.1

    This clause applies if the ATO:

     

     

    a) has made a definite decision to introduce a major change to production, program, organisation, structure or technology in relation to its enterprise that is likely to have a significant effect on employees; or

    b) proposes to introduce a change to the regular roster or ordinary hours of work of employees.

     

    Major change

    7.2

    For a major change referred to in subclause 7.1a:

     

     

    a) the ATO must notify the relevant employees of the decision to introduce the major change; and

    b) subclauses 7.3 to 7.9 apply.

    7.3

    The relevant employees may appoint a representative for the purposes of the procedures in this clause.

    7.4

    If:

     

     

    a) a relevant employee appoints, or relevant employees appoint, a representative for the purposes of consultation; and

    b) the employee or employees advise the ATO of the identity of the representative;

     

    the ATO must recognise the representative.

    7.5

    As soon as practicable after making its decision, the ATO must:

     

     

    a) discuss with the relevant employees:

     

     

     

    i. the introduction of the change; and

    ii. the effect the change is likely to have on the employees; and

    iii. measures the ATO is taking to avert or mitigate the adverse effect of the change on the employees; and

     

     

    b) for the purposes of the discussion – provide, in writing, to the relevant employees:

     

     

     

    i. all relevant information about the change including the nature of the change proposed; and

    ii. information about the expected effects of the change on the employees; and

    iii. any other matters likely to affect the employees.

    7.6

    However, the ATO is not required to disclose confidential or commercially sensitive information to the relevant employees.

    7.7

    The ATO must give prompt and genuine consideration to matters raised about the major change by the relevant employees.

    7.8

    If a term in this Agreement provides for a major change to production, program, organisation, structure or technology in relation to the enterprise of the ATO, the requirements set out in subclause 7.2(a) and subclauses 7.3 and 7.5 are taken not to apply.

    7.9

    In this clause, a major change is likely to have a significant effect on employees if it results in:

     

     

    a) the termination of the employment of employees; or

    b) major change to the composition, operation or size of the ATO’s workforce or to the skills required of employees; or

    c) the elimination or diminution of job opportunities (including opportunities for promotion or tenure); or

    d) the alteration of hours of work; or

    e) the need to retrain employees; or

    f) the need to relocate employees to another workplace; or

    g) the restructuring of jobs.

     

    Change to regular roster or ordinary hours of work

    7.10

    For a change referred to in subclause 7.1(b):

     

     

    a) the ATO must notify the relevant employees of the proposed change; and

    b) subclauses 7.11 to 7.15 apply.

    7.11

    The relevant employees may appoint a representative for the purposes of the procedures in this clause.

    7.12

    If:

     

     

    a) a relevant employee appoints, or relevant employees appoint, a representative for the purposes of consultation; and

    b) the employee or employees advise the ATO of the identity of the representative;

     

    the ATO must recognise the representative.

    7.13

    As soon as practicable after proposing to introduce the change, the ATO must:

     

     

    a) discuss with the relevant employees the introduction of the change; and

    b) for the purposes of the discussion-provide to the relevant employees:

     

     

     

    i. all relevant information about the change, including the nature of the change; and

    ii. information about what the ATO reasonably believes will be the effects of the change on the employees; and

    iii. information about any other matters that the ATO reasonably believes are likely to affect the employees; and

     

     

    c) invite the relevant employees to give their views about the impact of the change (including any impact in relation to their family or caring responsibilities).

    7.14

    However, the ATO is not required to disclose confidential or commercially sensitive information to the relevant employees.

    7.15

    The ATO must give prompt and genuine consideration to matters raised about the change by the relevant employees.

    In this clause "relevant employees" means the employees who may be affected by a change referred to in subclause 7.1.

    8. ATO policies and guidelines

    8.1

    Prior to;

     

     

    a) developing a new policy or guideline that relates to the provisions of this Agreement, or

    b) changing an existing policy or guideline that relates to the provisions of this Agreement, where that change is significant or substantial;

     

    the ATO will consult with employees and their representatives for a reasonable period which should be at least two weeks. The ATO will consider any comments or feedback prior to finalising the policy or guideline.

    8.2

    Any such policies and guidelines are not incorporated into, and do not form part of, this Agreement. A term of this Agreement prevails to the extent of any inconsistency with a policy, guideline or procedure.

    9. Freedom of association and employee representation

    9.1

    The ATO recognises:

     

     

    a) the legitimate role of unions in the workplace; and

    b) that employees are free to choose whether or not to join a union.

    c) irrespective of that choice employees will not be disadvantaged or discriminated against in respect of their employment under this agreement.

    9.2

    An employee may have an employee representative, who may be a union representative, to represent them in their industrial interests. The ATO and employee representative will deal with each other in good faith.

    9.3

    The role of employee representatives, including union delegates and other non-union employee representatives, is to be respected and facilitated.

      Last modified: 07 Aug 2017QC 53036