These include the cost of the AEC`s commitment to the vote, the employer`s efforts to support the authorisation process, and the parties` efforts to reach mutual agreement. When a vote of protected action is taken before the nominal expiry date of an existing agreement, it is illegal to organise or take trade union actions in accordance with the ballot before that nominal expiry date. When a notice period for trade union actions is taken, even if this measure has been approved by the vote on protected measures, trade union action is not protected.  Once the “access period” (seven days before the vote) has begun, chief operating officers should direct the chief operating officers by keeping them informed through informal discussions and, most importantly, by providing written scripts that can follow them. They should also discuss with their legal representatives that decisions and results are properly interpreted and summarized before being passed on to workers. Otherwise, the enterprise agreement may dissolve and may lead the employer to face additional costs and efforts or, according to the Federal Court of Justice, result in a “waste of resources”. An application for a protected action vote must not be submitted until 30 days before the nominal expiry date of an existing enterprise agreement covering workers and must not be submitted until a “notification period” regarding the proposed enterprise agreement has been made. The notification period occurs when the employer has entered into negotiations or has agreed to negotiate, or when the Commission has granted a majority decision, a field authorization or a low-paid authorization.  When considering whether or not to order a protected action vote, the Commission must be satisfied that the negotiators of workers wishing to vote have actually tried to reach an agreement. If more than one enterprise agreement covers workers covered by the proposed enterprise agreement, a request for a protected action vote cannot be submitted until 30 days before the last nominal expiry date of these enterprise agreements.
The current situation of coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing serious disruption in Australian workplaces. Our operations and those of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) have also been affected. In that case, it was alleged that a CUB officer made a false statement to the workers about the outcome and effect of a litigation within the Fair Work Commission.