You may have created an agreement with your employees only to realise you needed to change something or unfortunately terminate it. There are different processes to vary terms of the agreement, depending on the type of agreement you have entered into. Here’s a quick guide on the steps involved in amending or ending an enterprise agreement.

Changing an Agreement

The process is quite similar to making an agreement in the first place. You and your employees have to agree to change a term of the agreement, and once it is approved by a majority of your employees, you must apply to the Fair Work Commission to have it approved.

For a single-enterprise agreement, the change is approved by a majority of the employees who will be affected by the change. For a multi-enterprise agreement, the process is different from that of the original agreement. It has to be approved by a majority of the affected employees of each of the employers. Similarly, the process for a Greenfields Agreement differs from the original process, as a change to the agreement can only be made if at least one employee covered by the agreement has been employed.

The Fair Work Commission then undertakes the same approval process as with an original agreement, and must check that it still meets all of the requirements, including the ‘better off overall’ test and the National Employment Standards.

Terminating an Agreement

You and your employees may agree to terminate an agreement at any time while the agreement is in place. Your employees need to vote in favour of terminating the agreement, and then it needs to be approved by the Fair Work Commission. If you are looking to replace your old agreement with a new one, the old one will need to be terminated first, unless the old agreement has passed the expiry date.

If the employment agreement has passed its nominated expiry date, then you or your employees can apply for it to be terminated. The Fair Work Commission then makes sure it is not against the public interest for the agreement to be finalised, and it will also take into account whether terminating the agreement is appropriate in the circumstances. This includes your view, and the views of your employees and any unions that are involved. It is important to consider what impact the termination will have on all parties involved. The Fair Work Commission will also consider how terminating the agreement will affect your employees’ ability to bargain effectively.

The recent case of Aurizon Operations Limited: Aurizon Network Pty Ltd; Australia Eastern Railroad Pty Ltd [2015] FWCFB 540 has enhanced the ability for employers to terminate agreements where negotiations with employees are dragged out well beyond the expiry date, particularly in circumstances where it affects the employer’s ability to handle business operations.


Changing or terminating an enterprise agreement can be tricky depending on your individual circumstances and your relationship with your employees. Getting the advice of a specialised employment lawyer from LegalVision may just be the help you need to ensure a successful outcome for your business. Contact us on 1300 544 755 if you have any questions.

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Adi Snir
Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at

View Privacy Policy