Fair Work Act 2009
- workplace rights
- the right to engage in industrial activities
- the right to be free from unlawful discrimination
- the right to be free from undue influence or pressure in negotiating individual arrangements.
- adverse action
- undue influence or pressure in relation to:
- Individual flexibility arrangements under modern awards and enterprise agreements
- guarantees of annual earnings
- deductions from wages.
Rights that are protected under general protections
A workplace right includes:
- an entitlement to a benefit established under a workplace law or instrument (including awards, rights to parental leave, etc.);
- a right to initiate or participate in a process established under a workplace laws or instrument (such as protected industrial action); and
- a right to make a complaint or enquiry about employment (which can be to an authority or your employer)
Other Protections: Temporary absence due to illness or injury
Adverse action is action that is unlawful if it is taken by an employer for particular reasons.
The Fair Work Act 2009 defines a number of actions as adverse actions. Adverse action taken by a person includes doing, threatening, or organising any of the following:
- dismissing the employee
- injuring the employee in their employment
- altering the position of employee to the employee’s prejudice
- discriminating between the employee and other employees
The Fair Work Act 2009 prohibits a person from taking adverse action against another person because that person:
- has a workplace right
- has or hasn’t exercised a workplace right
- proposes or proposes not to exercise a workplace right
Adverse action does not include:
- action that is authorised by or under the Fair Work Act 2009 or any other Commonwealth law
- an employer standing down an employee who is engaged in protected industrial action
- an employer standing down an employee who is employed under a contract of employment that provides for the employer to stand down the employee in the circumstances
How to lodge
If the action involves a dismissal from employment you have 21 days from the date of dismissal to lodge. There is a filing fee, but you can apply to have this fee waived.