With the changes that the Government has announced to the ABCC legislation, the pressure on Human Resource and Industrial Relation practitioners to vary or renegotiate thousands of enterprise agreements is increasing daily with a looming deadline approaching in less than a year.
The age old problem of a HR or IR Manager having to demonstrate a better outcome with less resources in a shorter period of time has never been more real. Technology can assist immediately in achieving what must seem like impossible goals for HR departments servicing the construction industry.
Online information portals accessed via a URL distributed by email or SMS can ensure employees have access to the written text and any other material incorporated in the agreement, removing the time and expense of printing, envelope stuffing and mailing enterprise agreements. These online portals can be created by CIVS within a couple of hours and assist in meeting statutory obligations.
Technology combining online voting platforms, SMS messaging and the telephone give employees the ability to vote immediately regardless of their proximity to old style ballot boxes or a postal service. Like the online portal system, voting technologies remove costs and delays of paper based printing but also remove the delay and complications of extensive ballot opening times, manual vote counting, scrutineering and ballot paper destruction or storage. High employee participation rates coupled with a shorter voting lead time and vote duration will only assist in agreement negotiation.
The ABCC legislation has imposed an incredibly tight time frame on the re-negotiation of thousands of construction industry enterprise agreements and will create challenges requiring innovate thinking and adoption of innovative, streamlined, effective solutions while remaining legislatively complaint. These technologies currently exist and will drive the resolution of the challenges the ABCC legislation has created.