Coles DC offer update

August 5, 2022 Uncategorized

We have now been in negotiations with Coles for a new DC agreement since April.

Whilst we have managed to negotiate many improvements into a proposed new agreement, we have so far been unable to come to agreement with the company on a final package.

Coles has made the decision to roll out the package and draft agreement for your consideration.

The package and draft agreement, that we have just received from the company will contain a number of benefits, but there are elements of the offer that we do not believe will meet our members (and the other employees) expectations.

For that reason the SDA has not endorsed the offer (or draft agreement) the Company will put before you soon, but the SDA is not opposing it either.

Each member must make up their own mind.

Ultimately this is YOUR agreement so only you can really decide if the offer is good enough.

And don’t let other tell you how you should vote to suit their agenda.

These are your rates, and your rights, so only you can decide.

And remember, as with any proposed agreement, you are voting on the package as a whole. If you vote any agreement down, the next proposed agreement may or may not include different improvements and may or may not include different disadvantages.

Also the Company is still “tweaking” the offer but it is likely to include the following:


  • A four (4) year enterprise agreement.
  • An increase to wages and allowances of 4% in the 1st year, 4% in the 2nd year, 3% for the 3rd year and 3% for the 4th year
    • The Company have offered to pay (and backpay to the 8th of August) the first increase to the base rates of pay as soon as possible after a majority yes vote (if that is what happens).
    • Increases to allowance will take effect as soon as practicable after a majority yes vote (if that is what happens).
  • In addition when a Permanent (Full Time or Part Time) employee is made redundant they will be entitled to payment for accrued annual leave, annual leave loading, and long service leave entitlements, banked but untaken RDOs, accrued but untaken TOIL and accrued but untaken Public Holiday TOIL.
  • Where an employee who is 45 years of age or older is made redundant and they have 10 to 25 years service, they will receive an extra lump sum payment of $5,000 (pro rated for Part Timers). If they have 26 years or more service, they will receive a lump sum payment of $10,000 (pro rated for Part Timers) instead.
  • Coles will provide team members with 16 weeks written notice of the full site closure date.
  • Coles will provide a range of support benefits and services focused on health and well-being; training and skill development, career support and transitioning from Coles including:
    • An on-site information hub at the Forest Lake and Heathwood sites where team members can access information from various training, outplacement, and financial services providers (e.g. REST and TAFE); and access to computers for further research and training.
    • Employee assistance program (EAP) and mental health resources available to team members including confidential counselling and wellbeing support (e.g. webinars and wellbeing programs).
    • Training and upskilling opportunities, including access to Coles internal training programs (e.g. Coursera and Learning Hub) and access to development programs for eligible team members.
    • A reimbursement of up to a total of $1,000 to either an eligible permanent or direct Coles casual employee who has enrolled and completed (whether successful or unsuccessful) a training course or license with a registered training organisation (RTO) that will assist the team member in obtaining new employment. This would only be available for Coles employees (permanent or Coles directly employed casual) employed by Coles as at 6 August 2022. This reimbursement would not apply to team members who are no longer employed by Coles either by way of resignation or termination of employment.
    • Outplacement support for eligible permanent team members including access to 1:1 career counselling/coaching, 1:1 resume preparation and writing, networking and online profile creation, and financial counselling seminars (e.g. transitioning to retirement).
  • The existing clause 25.10 in the 2018 EA will be amended to enable team members to bank RDOs without Coles approval.

Improved But You Told Us You Wanted Better

  • Voluntary Redundancies accrued at 3 weeks per year of service, capped at 60 weeks.
    • Employees who apply for and are accepted for a voluntary redundancy, will be provided an estimate of the value of the redundancy including net and gross estimates.
    • The weeks pay for VRs is paid at the employees ordinary time rate of pay for their grade.
    • Redundancies apply to Permanent employees only.
    • For employees who are Permanent (Full Time or Part Time) before the 6th of August who receive a redundancy, their casual service with Coles directly (i.e. not as a Labour Hire employee) will be included in their length of service when calculating any redundancy.
    • This is not the 4 weeks of service our members expected but the cap of 60 weeks is one of the highest in the Coles network
  • Forced Redundancies (likely incurred when the site or parts of the site are closed) would accrue at 3 weeks per year of service capped at 80 weeks.
    • The weeks pay for VRs is paid at the employees ordinary time rate of pay for their grade.
    • Redundancies apply to Permanent employees only.
    • Employees who are Permanent (Full Time or Part Time) before the 6th of August who receive a redundancy, their casual service with Coles directly (i.e. not as a Labour Hire employee) will be included in their length of service when calculating any redundancy.
    • This is not the 4 weeks per year of service our members expected.
  • Employees that convert to Permanent (Full Time or Part Time) after the 6th of August 2022, will not have their Casual service recognised for the purposes of calculating any redundancy entitlement.
  • The insertion of the following clause into the agreement “Where determined by a court or tribunal, that Coles terminated a team members employment for reasons other than redundancy, when a genuine redundancy had in fact occurred, the aggrieved team member in line with the relevant court or tribunal determination would be entitled to relevant redundancy entitlements as outlined under Schedule B”. This clause could be stronger so that it applies in any circumstances where an employee has been unfairly dismissed.
  • Significant amendments made to the “Casual Engagement” Clauses allowing the Company to increase its use of Labour Hire employees in exchange for a clause maintaining that roles other than Picking should be offered and worked by Permanent Team members, then Direct Hire Casuals, and then only Labour Hire employees as a last resort.
  • Clause 47.6 in the agreement would be amended to require written authority from senior site management before the Company can deviate from the standard Performance Management process.


  • The maximum period of an approved leave of absence will be reduced to 4 months (or up to 12 months may be approved in exceptional circumstances at Coles discretion). Employees may be required to provide evidence supporting their request for leave of absence.
  • The Existing clause 29.5 in the 2018 EA will be amended to limit the use of TOIL for unpaid carers leave to five (5) days per calendar year.
  • Clarifying Existing Clauses in the Current Agreement
  • Coles agrees to enter into written correspondence with the SDA, reflecting that the reference to 1 hours’ notice when accessing Personal Leave is the Company’s preference only and not a requirement The employee is only required to provide notice as soon as practicable.
  • A minimum shift length of 4 hours for casual team members has been expressly clarified within the 2022 EA. This reflects Coles existing practice and provides shift certainty for casual team members.
  • The rewriting of the Casual Conversion Clause to be BOOT compliant and to better reflect the conditions under the National Employment Standards.
  • An Updated Family and Domestic Violence Leave Clause in line with the National Employment Standards, including access to an additional 5 days of unpaid leave.
  • An updated Compassionate Leave Clause that includes the amendments to the National Employment Standards regarding the extension of compassionate leave of 2 days per occasion for stillbirth or miscarriage.

The SDA has also asked for Mass Meetings to have the opportunity to explain the package to our members so they can be clear what they are voting on.

To date we have not yet heard back from the Company.

We will keep you up to date as things change and evolve.

Until then if you have any questions please see your SDA Delegate, or Organiser, or call the SDA on 1800 657 141.

Now that you’ve read the offer, do you think you will VOTE YES or VOTE NO? Click the link to let us know.