Professionals Australia welcomes Fair Work Commission decision to extend agreements for DXC employees

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Professionals Australia has welcomed today’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to extend collective based agreements (zombie agreements) for employees of DXC Enterprise by three years in order to preserve their working conditions and enable time for a new enterprise agreement to be negotiated.

The significant extension to the agreements comes after DXC attempted to end the long-standing agreements in March 2023 and replace them with common law contracts, which significantly eroded the terms and conditions in the agreements, especially those related to hours of work and redundancy.

In an internal company ballot, PA members resoundingly voted down the DXC proposal for common law contracts and the union applied to the FWC for an extension of the collective based agreements. In its decision, the Commission ordered that the default period for the agreements be extended until August 2026, finding that employees were “likely to be worse off with respect to a number of long-standing conditions including hours of work and redundancy entitlements if the Agreements cease to operate.”

Professionals Australia’s CEO Jill McCabe said the decision ensured workers weren’t put at an unfair disadvantage by changes to workplace laws that DXC had sought to exploit to the detriment of employees.

“Our members voted down the DXC proposal to move to common law contracts as the company failed to give an express commitment to maintain the terms and conditions in the agreements and they would clearly have been worse off under common law contracts,” Ms McCabe said.

Changes to workplace laws late last year meant that zombie agreements – individual or collective agreements made before the commencement of the Fair Work Act 2009 – would be terminated on December 7 2024 if they were not extended.

Ms McCabe said that DXC also failed to propose any bargaining for a replacement agreement or commit to maintaining existing conditions, instead offering a “less favourable” contract to employees covered by the zombie agreements.

“DXC employees worked together and voted down DXC’s proposal and PA was able to advocate to the Commission on their behalf. Working together, we have secured an outcome where DXC employees will be better off.”

“This is a great result for these workers, particularly given the insecurity and upheaval within the tech sector at the moment,” Ms McCabe continued.

“The three-year extension now allows all parties to reach a new enterprise agreement that upholds workers’ conditions.”