Collective Bargaining Changes for COVID-19

20 April 2020

The Order extends the notice periods listed below by the period of time the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020 is in effect (this notice gave the Government the power to implement the lockdown).  The specific provisions affected are:

Employees’ Attention to be drawn to Initiation of Bargaining
The 10 day notice period the employer has to inform employees of the initiation of bargaining, is extended [s43(2)]. 

Consolidation of Bargaining
- The 40 day period the employer has to request consolidation of bargaining, is extended [s50(2)].
- The 30 day period a union has to accept an employer’s request to consolidate the bargaining or withdraw its notice of initiation of bargaining, is extended [s50(3)].

Continuation of Collective Agreement after Specified Expiry Date 
The period of up to 12 months for a collective agreement to remain in force after its expiry date, is extended. 

Ratification of Collective Agreement
A union is permitted to change the ratification procedure it specified at the start of bargaining [s51(2)].

This order is revoked immediately after the expiry of the 3-month period that starts on the date on which the Epidemic Notice expires or is revoked. 

You can access the Order in Council here: