State Industrial Relations

What can I do under the State system?

Within the WA state system, there are five employment arrangements available:

State awards

State awards are made by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC). Awards are negotiated by unions and one or more employers, or an employer association. They are enforceable documents which contain minimum terms and conditions of employment for those covered by that award.

To view award summaries and for more information go to the Department of Commerce.

Full copies of State awards are accessible from WAIRC.

Enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs)

WA state EBAs are collective agreements negotiated between employers and employees and registered with the WAIRC. The following representatives are able to negotiate on behalf of employers and employees:

  • a union or unions;
  • an employer;
  • a group of employers; and
  • an employers' association.

They apply to all employees in the workplace who perform the work covered by the EBA.

It should be noted that there is no provision for state non-union collective agreements, which means that employees can only bargain as a group (collective bargaining) when a union is involved.

EBAs have a maximum term of 3 years, but conditions continue on expiry date. When they expire, the employer or union can withdraw from the EBA by giving 30 days notice to the WAIRC. Before expiry, they can be cancelled by agreement of the parties.

Copies of EBAs are available from WAIRC – and many can be viewed at

State employer-employee agreements (EEAs)

An employer-employee agreement (EEA) is an individual employment arrangement registered in the State labour relations system. EEAs are registered with the WA Industrial Relations Commissions (WAIRC) and cover an employees working arrangements, pay and conditions.

Common Law Contracts

As an employer you can choose to write your own employment contract as long as it meets the minimum conditions as set out in the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (WA) and any award that applies to the employee.

It's important to remember that as soon as an offer of employment is accepted then a contract exists. The contract can be verbal, written, implied or a combination of the three. The minimum conditions that you must meet covers the following areas:

  • reasonable hours of work
  • annual leave
  • sick leave
  • carer's leave
  • bereavement leave
  • public holidays
  • parental leave
  • redundancy payments.

For more information on the minimum conditions contact the Department of Commerce, Wageline on 1300 655 266.

What's next…

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