Duration of the collective agreement
A collective agreement comes into effect on the date stated in the agreement. The agreement may, however, state that different parts of the agreement come into effect on different dates. If there is no date stated, it comes into effect on the date the last party signs it.
The collective agreement expires on the earlier of either its stated expiry date or three years after it takes effect. If, however, the union initiates bargaining before it expires, the agreement continues in force. The agreement continues in force for up to 12 months, or until it is replaced within the 12-month period with a new collective agreement.
Additional unions and employers may join an existing collective agreement where the collective agreement specifically allows this to occur.
When a collective agreement expires or is no longer in force:
- Each existing employee will automatically have an individual employment agreement based on the expired collective agreement (plus any additional terms and conditions agreed previously). However, employer and employee can agree to change this individual employment agreement
- New employees are hired on the basis of an individual employment agreement negotiated with the employer.