How Long Should Agreement Votes Remain Open?

The agreement negotiation process creates a number of challenges for HR and IR professionals. The business must make a series of decisions with critical consequences for both the employer and employees.

As the bargaining process draws closer to its conclusion decisions regarding voting methods must be made. Online, SMS and telephone voting platforms are becoming common practice with businesses embracing the benefits these technologies offer.

In my previous post, I provided some information regarding the platforms employees choose when given the choice of either online, SMS or telephone voting.  Once the employer chooses the platform(s) for their agreement vote, the decision on how long to keep the vote open must be made.

Traditional attendance voting required the employer to consider factors such as vote management staff availability, shift times, roster swings, weekends and public holidays driving voting periods to consistently exceed 10 days. The delays associated with postal voting (printing, outbound mail, voting inbound mail, vote counting, scrutineering complications and ballot storage or destruction) are well documented.

Electronic voting allows employees to vote immediately regardless of their location. SMS voting is a simple as punching the keys Y-E-S or N-O on their phone. The voting simplicity plus the convenience of voting anywhere there is a phone or internet connection, poses the question how long should an electronic vote remain open?

CiVS have reviewed the last 100 votes we managed to provide the data below:

Electronic Vote Opening Period

                <24 Hours            18

                24 – 72 Hours     49

                3 – 7 Days            24

                >7 Days                9

A number of factors must be considered when deciding how long any vote remains open however this information provides background on the modern industry trend. Couple the fact over two-thirds of the votes CiVS manage are open less than 72 hours and the ability to present the declaration of result to a client within 2 hours of the vote closing the efficiency of secure electronic voting system and services cannot be questioned.

Should you wish to discuss electronic voting agreement opening periods or any other aspect of enterprise agreement voting, please contact CiVS on 08 6314 0580 or via