Q: When can a Collective Agreement (CA) be amended?
A: A CA can be amended before it has been certified by the President or Dy President of the Court. After certification, the CA can only be amended through an application to IAC by the union and/or employer for a Variation Order.
Q: Who can amend a CA?
A: The CA can be amended by the signatories to the agreement viz the representatives of the union and the employer. One signatory from the employer and one from the union will have to sign against the amendments (including deletions) made to show their consent to the changes.
Q: In what circumstances does IAC require amendments to be made to a CA?
A: The CA must comply with the Industrial Relations Act and other labour laws, e.g. Employment Act, Child Development and Co-Savings Act etc. It must also comply with requirements for a legally binding document and IAC's administrative requirements. Finally, the CA must not contain any other major errors or omissions. The IAC will ask the parties to amend the CA if any of the above requirements are not met.
Q: How will the parties be informed of amendments required by IAC?
A: The IAC will send a letter to both parties informing them of the changes to be made where there are few or simple changes. Otherwise, IAC will invite the parties for a meeting to explain the changes to be made.
Q: How can a clause or clauses of a CA be amended?
A: The parties should:
Delete (in ink) the affected word(s), phrase(s) or clause(s) in the original copy of the CA.
Replace them with the correct words, phrases or clauses, which may be hand-written, or typed on a separate slip of paper and pasted at the side of the clauses to be replaced.
The signatories should affix their signatures near the changes made, including the deletions.
Where a separate slip of paper is attached to the original page, the signatories should sign in 2 places - next to the original words, phrases, clauses which have been deleted, and on the slip of paper with the new words, phrases, clauses.
Q: How can the CA be amended if the entire clause(s) is (are) deleted and not replaced?
A: The parties may strike through the clause(s), insert the phrase "[Deleted]" next to the clause number and sign against the changes made. In this case, the remaining clauses in the CA do not need to be re-numbered. Alternatively, the parties may strike through the clause(s) including the clause number(s) and renumber the remaining clauses. The parties should sign against all the clause numbers that have been changed. The parties should also ensure that all subsequent clauses are numbered correctly and that cross-references, if any, are made to the re-numbered clauses and not the old clauses. If the clause re-numbering affects many pages, the parties may replace the affected pages, as explained in the answer to the next question.
Q: How can amendment be done if there are many changes to be made on the same page, or many pages to be amended?
A: The parties may replace the affected page(s) with the amended page(s), which must be signed by the signatories on each page. The original page(s) do not have to be returned to IAC. However, if the original page(s) are returned to IAC, the parties must first strike through the page and sign against the line striking through the page(s). Where there are extensive changes to the CA, the parties should also send the amended softcopy of the CA to IAC at email@example.com
Q: How can the employer and union avoid having to amend the CA?
A: If the parties exercise due care and diligence in preparing the CA, checking it for compliance with all the labour laws, requirements for a legal document, IAC’s administrative requirements, and that the CA does not contain any other major errors and omissions, they will not need to amend the CA. There are many CAs submitted to the IAC which do not require amendment.