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Introducation

What is a BOOT test?

Why was it introduced?

How was it applied in the M&H and Cole’s case?

How do you think the BOOT test could be improved?

1.In order to accept or reject an enterprise bargaining settlements, a BOOT test is very essential and as such it needs to be improved so as to take into consideration current and emerging issues in the market today (Stewart et al., 2014).

Fair Work Commission employs the use of BOOT test for purposes of making such significant decisions as whether to approve or reject enterprise settlements. BOOT has been the key determinant used over the years since its inception given its near perfect status. The BOOT test is one of the best tests that is still used around. The improvement of this test should be based upon incorporating essential changes in the test. According to Lee, Brown, & Wen, (2016) “Better off overall test (BOOT) has its foundation strongly laid upon the present applicable award which brings together all employees who are part and parcel of the proposed settlements” (p. 232). The main idea behind this BOOT test is that all award covered employees have to be at an advantaged position. They have to be in a better position than they would be in if they were to be subjected to the present modern award. The most outstanding feature of BOOT is that it permits award settings instead of aligning with the National Employment standards for restraining from commercializing the business trades and transactions.

No matter how much better position an employee may be, the specific applications of the modern award prove true in all circumstances. Within this, one of the major considerations is the provision of safe and comfortable workplace conditions, which is subject to the minimum wage that they are liable to get (Gospel, Pendleton &Vitols, 2014). Equal treatment holds prime importance in this context. The current environmental scenario necessitates the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT). This test proves beneficial for altering the business scenarios in the competitive ambience of the market.

2.The introduction of BOOT resulted from the fact that this particular test would ensure that all employees covered by the proposed settlements are all catered for under the better off overall test.  This would then be verified by the Commission.  The major focus of having this BOOT test is to protect all workers (Capuano, 2016). All workers must be protected from being exposed to unwarranted situations. The need to protect all workers aligns with the prevailing suppositions in terms of the employees’ guaranteed success in the test. Approval by the commission escalates the hope of achieving success. BOOT test was introduced specifically for purposes of bringing harmony to the process of signing settlements. There is need to ensure that there exist a balance in the process of signing settlements. This balance brought efficacy in the enterprise settlements. Within this, one of the specifications was to pass the BOOT test. As a result of this, the business activities were subjected to the test (Wilson, 2016). In order to add fairness in this, the personnel of Fair Work Commission was entrusted with the responsibility to verify, approve or reject BOOT results and settlements according to the approaches of the management and the employees. Apart from this, the BOOT results were used as guidelines for tracking the performance of the managers and workers. This tracking helped in assessing the capability of the managers and workers in terms of abiding by the proposed bargaining settlements for the business deals, trades and transactions (Creighton, 2016). Obligations reporting statutory requirements also brought about the implementation of BOOT. Since acting in accordance with statutory requirements was something thing that become difficult to achieve, the need to seek for legal direction become more rampant and costly as well. And since this had to be done before any particular settlements was reached. It was even more difficult. In order to ease out this difficulty, BOOT test seemed a beneficial method. This statement takes the test to the stage of approval. BOOT requires a clear and objective deliberation. These concerns look deeply into award covered workers in the equal measure as it does to prospective award covered workers too (Lee, Brown & Wen, 2016).

The Introduction Of Better Off Overall Test

3.In M&H case it was witnessed that after what appeared as a lengthy application process, H&M a leading Swedish fashion retailer’s proposals were rejected by the Commission. H&M failed to pass the BOOT test based on the existing qualification conditions. On the other hand, in Cole’s case, replacement regarding the approval application along with the contractual agreements was the main result in the middle of 2015. In these two cases, the BOOT requirements were not met. According to Todd et al (2017), in order to pass a BOOT test, the upcoming requirements have to be met. The enterprise bargaining settlements must cover all workers and not only the majority. This is because the main aim of a BOOT test is to ensure that all workers are better off than they would be under the modern award. Townsend & Loudoun, (2016) supports this line of thought by explaining that “An settlements instituted between the manager and the employee would be better off if the proposed arrangement as document in a contract covers all the workers and leave the workers better off as compared to when the relevant modern award would have covered them” (p. 271). In Cole’s case, the jury pegged its focus purely on the process of identifying the terms of the settlements as proposed. The jury would search for proof that this particular arrangement as stipulated in Cole’s case was able to leave the employee better off than the modern award would. In doing this, the jury also focused on looking at the overall benefit that the employee may get in the long run. Critical reflection of the contractual perspective in this case, the jury portrays the case in terms of determining the fate of the workers regarding the particularities of the settlements. After a watchful inspection of these terms the jury would evaluate the entire case to determine if workers would be better off under such particular settlements. A closer look at Cole’s case revealed that, a case involving approximately 77000 workers would be repealed and effectively replaced given that it did not leave all the workers better off. Even though this settlement had been subjected to a vote, it was evident that it did not meet the requirements of the BOOT (Stewart, 2016). This is because in process of subjecting the draft settlements to a vote, the majority won and the voice of the minority was not heard. An overall assessment revealed that not all workers would benefit from this particular settlement even though it received an overwhelming vote of 33000 out of the present 36000 participants, who did participate in the vote. By and large, this particular proposal or settlements was to be approved as a result of the provisions made by Cole in terms of the potential threats highlighted by the Commission.  These have to be in line with the better off overall test. The final verdict indicated the failures of the Cole Case to pass the BOOT test (Kersley et al., 2013).

The proposed contract of Cole highlighted higher rates as compared to the applicable aware rates. Along with this, there were discrepancies in the compensations paid on evenings, holidays and weekends. In view of these documental projections, the judge declared that performance of the employees in the peak seasons attains prime consideration for determination of better condition (Wanrooy et al., 2013). As per the other revelations of the judge, if an employee works for more hours in a high hourly rate, then he is in a worse condition of employment. Overall, the judge, in Cole case also gave the verdict in favor of the employees. As a matter of specification, if an employee works for extra hours, late night or in the weekends, the contract would be considered illegal. Along with this, the employer would be punished.

Utilizing the BOOT test, it was revealed under the supervision of the jury that some of the workers were at a dangerous condition of employment. Overall, the Commission, through the assessment, highlighted the issue of substantial monetary loss. Delving deep into the issue, the casual employees were a victim of these losses (Godard, 2014). On the other hand, part time employees, who workers for extra hours, were compelled to pay penalties, for emerging failures in making up the loss. Mismatch between the resulted rates and the award rates aggravated the intensity of the loss.

The following factors helped the jury to pronounce the verdict:

  • Comparative study of the contracts compelled majority of the employees to encounter losses in terms of the proposed terms and conditions of the contract
  • All of the employees are exempted from encountering the situation of unemployment during the tenure of the contract as a whole (Howell, 2016)

The final verdict highlighted the fact that emergency leaves lacked uniformity among the employees. For giving the final verdict, the Jury attached prime value to the viewpoints of the victims. Application of the BOOT test restores the unity and equality among all the employees.

The verdict of the case enlightens the business personnel with some moral values, most importance of which is the rational and conscious approach towards the actions undertaken. Speculation of the terms and conditions of the contract is the main issue in the Coles Case, which was absent. Moreover, lack of conscious attitude towards validity and authenticity contradicts the morality. Envisioning long term success for the employees as a whole aligns with the overall growth of the businesses and nullifies the feeling of biasness (Williams, Scott & Welch, 2016). This motive bears correlation with the word “better” in the conditions applicable in the awards. The prevailing biasness in terms of the betterment of the employees necessitates the need for inculcating good moral values within the personnel. Consideration of the minority section is crucial in this perspective, as they have higher chances of being failures in the BOOT test (Creighton et al, 2016)

The Application of Boot

Boot is one of an efficient method for compensating the inexperienced employees about the dynamics of the modern award rates. There are variations in the workplace applications of the awards. Owing to the drab, monotony of the work pressure, the employer, sometimes encounter difficulties for applying the anticipated findings of the tests and interpreting certain new facts about the betterment of the employees. In the Coles case, BOOT tests possess flexibility to mitigate the instances of illegal allowances regarding working extra hours and compensations from the minority (Tricker & Tricker, 2015). Supply of Individual Enterprise Bargaining copy nullifies the need of separate agreements from the employees regarding their employment (Lee, Brown and Wen, 2016).

According to the arguments of Todd et al. (2017), another benefit of the BOOT test is that is assists the business organizations to prepare the employees for exposure of quality output. This results in fulfilling the identified and the specified requirements. Teaching the employees to be self-dependent enhances their skills, expertise and knowledge, which restricts them from indulging in illegal means. Exposure of conscious attitude in this context preserves the transparency in business activities, which generates trust, dependence and reliance among the customers for the organization. Adherence and compliance to the regulatory framework helps the organizational personnel to preserve the safety and security of the employees (Smith, 2017). In view of this, it can be concluded that BOOT test proves helpful in ensuring the betterment of the employees in terms of providing them their dues, which aligns with the modern award rates. Disadvantages

BOOT also has certain disadvantages, which springs up from the drawbacks of shortage in the time as well as financial flexibility. These constraints act as an obstacle in the achievement of agreement in the bargaining for Enterprise efficiency. Fixed time periods and harsh policies compel the organizational personnel to reject the bargain offer on behalf of the employers. According to the opinions of (Roberts, 2017), approvals for agreements comprises an escalation in demand through votes. Absence of majority voting aggravates the time and financial constraints in spite of emerging successful in claiming an appeal.

4.Improving the better off overall test begins by looking at the practical issues surrounding the BOOT.

Some of the emerging issues as noticed in the process of the implementation of the BOOT are that most often issues arise most often during or after the entire process have begun. Amending the contract’s terms and conditions becoming nearly impossible once the process has kicked off. However, if the contract’s terms and conditions are amended then what follows is that the entire process automatically begins a fresh. This is because the other provisions are nullified since the precious contract is no longer binding (Shields et al., 2015). Recognition of typographical errors by the manager can be considered as one of the best methods for restoring coordination and unity between the employees. This coordination proves beneficial in terms of achieving effective means of negotiation in terms of adopting the proposed changes. Errors within the business procedures are a drawback for the organization, which needs immediate actions for betterment. Herein, lays the appropriateness of changes. Boot test seems to be appropriate for achieving the proposed changes in an efficient and effective manner (Crane & Matten, 2016). Involvement of the management and the employees in the decision-making process for change brings unity within the workplace. This coordination eases out the process of receiving agreements for enterprise bargaining and adds efficiency within the business procedures.

Verdict of Cole’s case

The manager ought to conduct comparison test. This is one sure way of improving the BOOT. The employer is entrusted with the responsibility to carry out a comparison test in order to keep a check on the compensations to be paid by the employees. This monitoring aligns with the proposed agreements and the rates of the modern awards (Cheney et al., 2014). Whereas this may be time consuming, it is necessary as it will help in making corrections where necessary. Immediate implementation of the identified changes helps the personnel to avert emergency situations as in the Cole and M&H case.  Plans need to be made in order to transform the predicament of the vulnerable workers in the business organizations.

Policies can be an effective means to ensure that the employees and employers are striving to maintain the given rates of the modern awards. Exposure of considerate attitude in this context helps the management to place focus on the individual performance of the employers and the employees.  Adoption of modern and technologically advanced machines assists the management in keeping a track over the workplace operations (Townsend, and Loudoun 2016). Assessment of the results, prior to the development of agreement to vote, adds firmness to BOOT test. This assessment proves beneficial for the employer in terms of averting the emergence of emergencies. Although emergence of emergencies are inevitable, conducting assessments prior to BOOT tests helps in undertaking actions, which ensures the betterment of the employees as a whole. Moreover, this assessment needs to be carried out by the employer well in advance before agreeing to the approval of the Commission (Crane & Matten, 2016).

Clarification of the basic concepts at the first instance enhances the preconceived knowledge of the business personnel regarding BOOT test. This enhancement helps in the settlement of the enterprise related bargains. Hiring a legal practitioner in this context highlights the authenticity and validity of the terms. This step seems justified in terms of reducing the misinterpretations and inadequate knowledge of the employees. Achieving an understanding of the terms is the sole responsibility of the employees (Shields et al., 2015). Once understood, the employees can train the new joinees about the basic concepts, which would result in the exposure of quality output.  Consideration of the cultural diversity mitigates the instances of conflicts, discriminations and harassments among others.

There is an increased dependency for votes related to endorsement of the agreements. Adherence to an integrated framework enhances the aspect of partnership working for the enterprise related bargains. Not only the majority. This can work appropriately in the event that the application of the BOOT test during the process of proposal development is not inferred for the majority but rather for every single individual worker. It is essential that this test concocts a framework that takes a key interest on the plight of individual representatives or workers. As indicated by Capuano, (2016), irrespective of the test stages of BOOT, "it is fundamental for those worried to find out the modern grant that directly covers the representatives or workers being referred to and to whom the particular undertaking assertion is proposed to apply (Capuano, 2016). In order to determine the appropriate award for the employees within the workplace, the presentation, reasonability in the arrangements and the locale is crucial for altering the scenario of the organization (Townsend &Loudoun, 2016)

Conclusion

In conclusion it is significant that if bosses find themselves under circumstances, where achievement of means of negotiations is necessary for agreeing with the employees, then it is mandatory to consider all the relevant issues, points of interest and additionally the conceivable drawbacks and have the capacity to successfully adjust every one of these components against the modern award (Wilson, 2016). During the time spent drafting undertaking contracts, it is fundamental for managers to be exceptionally worried with guaranteeing every last condition in the Enterprise Bargaining Settlements. This is on account that if such component don't leave the representatives or workers preferable off over on the off chance regarding their protection, by the propositions and rates of the award, then, there is no hope regarding the employees passing the BOOT test.  This seems true even for the conditions where few advantages can be thought to fundamentally reduce the results to an avoidable extent.  As per the of Buchanan and Oliver (2016), "The significant test is whether the representatives or workers will be in an ideal situation in general under the endeavor settlements than under the pertinent honor". For the most part it requires a sensible measure of investment to set up an Enterprise Bargaining Settlements. In any case it is justified regardless of the time and asset given that they are significant to both the business and the representatives or workers. It achieves proficiency and a streamlined method for operations in the administration of exercises.

References

Buchanan, J., & Oliver, D. (2016). ‘Fair Work ‘and the Modernization of Australian Labor Standards: A Case of Institutional Plasticity Entrenching Deepening Wage Inequality. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 54(4), 790-814.

Capuano, A. (2016). Giving Meaning to 'Social Origin' in International Labor Organization ('ILO') Conventions, the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986:'Class' Discrimination and its Relevance to the Australian Context.

Cheney, G., Santa Cruz, I., Peredo, A. M., & Nazareno, E. (2014). Worker cooperatives as an organizational alternative: Challenges, achievements and promise in business governance and ownership. Organization, 21(5), 591-603.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Creighton, B. (2016). Understanding the Fair Work Act: Advantages and disadvantages–Methodological Approach.

Godard, J. (2014). The psychologisation of employment relations?. Human Resource Management Journal, 24(1), 1-18.

Gospel, H., Pendleton, A., &Vitols, S. (Eds.). (2014). Financialization, new investment funds, and labour: an international comparison. Oxford University Press.

Howell, C. (2016). Regulating class in the neoliberal era: the role of the state in the restructuring of work and employment relations. Work, employment and society, 30(4), 573-589.

Kersley, B., Alpin, C., Forth, J., Bryson, A., Bewley, H., Dix, G., & Oxenbridge, S. (2013). Inside the workplace: findings from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey. Routledge.

Lee, C. H., Brown, W., & Wen, X. (2016). What sort of collective bargaining is emerging in China?.British Journal of Industrial Relations, 54(1), 214-236.

Roberts, S. (2017). Round 7 enterprise bargaining. Advocate: Newsletter of the National Tertiary Education Union, 24(1), 5.

Shields, J., Brown, M., Kaine, S., Dolle-Samuel, C., North-Samardzic, A., McLean, P., ... & Plimmer, G. (2015). Managing Employee Performance & Reward: Concepts, Practices, Strategies. Cambridge University Press.

Stewart, A. (2016). Continuity and Change in Australian Labour Regulation: Work Choices, Fair Work and the Role of the ‘Independent Umpire’.

Stewart, A. J., Bray, M., Macneil, J., &Oxenbridge, S. (2014). 'Promoting cooperative and productive workplace relations': exploring the Fair Work Commission's new role.

Todd, P., Ellem, B., Goods, C., Rainnie, A., & Smith, L. (2017). Labour in global production networks: Workers and unions in mining engineering work. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 0143831X16684964.

Townsend, K., & Loudoun, R. (2016). Employee voice in enterprise bargaining: what managers miss when they fail to listen. Labour& Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, 26(4), 266-280.

Tricker, R. B., & Tricker, R. I. (2015). Corporate governance: Principles, policies, and practices. Oxford University Press, USA.

Van Wanrooy, B., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J., Freeth, S., Stokes, L., & Wood, S. (2013). The 2011 workplace employment relations study: first findings.

Williams, S. J., Scott, P. J., & Welch, R. (2016). Employment relations under coalition government: reflections, legacy and prospects. In Employment relations under coalition government: The UK experience, 2010-2015. Routledge.

Wilson, J. (2016). Employment law: A balancing act: Effective management of workplace disrepute by employees. Ethos: Official Publication of the Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory, (239), 38.

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