Adverse action

Adverse action is certain types of action that is unlawful if it is taken for particular reasons. The FW Act describes what types of action is adverse action.

Adverse action taken by an employer includes doing, threatening or organising any of the following:

  • dismissing an employee
  • injuring an employee in their employment
  • altering an employee’s position to their prejudice
  • discriminating between one employee and other employees
  • refusing to employ a prospective employee
  • discriminating against a prospective employee on the terms and conditions in the offer of employment.

The full meaning of ‘adverse action’ is described in section 342 of the FW Act.

The ABCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court alleging the CFMMEU and two of its officials, including assistant Queensland state secretary Jade Ingham, engaged in coercion, adverse action and organised unlawful industrial action. 
4 March 2019
Landing page
Detailed information about industrial strike action and what your entitlements are.
24 August 2018
Basic page
Industrial action is primarily regulated under the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act). But industrial action in relation to building work is subject to more rules under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act).
19 August 2018
Basic page
What should I do if industrial action happens on my site? If you’re a code covered entity undertaking Commonwealth funded building work you must:
19 August 2018
Basic page
What is industrial action? Industrial action occurs when employees refuse to perform work at all, ban the performance of all or some work, or perform work in a way that is different to the way it is usually performed, or in a way which limits the performance of work. Industrial action can include:
19 August 2018
Federal Court proceedings have been launched against the CFMEU and two representatives for allegedly preventing non-financial members from working at a Melbourne construction site. The ABCC alleges in a claim lodged with the Federal Court in Melbourne:
18 August 2017
The Federal Court has imposed total penalties of $105,000 against 75 workers after they took part in unlawful industrial action at the New Children’s Hospital project in Perth in 2013.
11 October 2018
The Federal Court today handed down penalties totalling $145,950 in relation to unlawful action that halted work at the Ichthys LNG Project in Darwin.
14 September 2017
The Full Federal Court today handed down penalties totalling $430,000 for unlawful industrial action taken at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and two other Brisbane construction sites.
3 August 2017
The Federal Court has imposed penalties totalling $101,500 against the AMWU, CFMEU and AWU and three of their officials for their involvement in unlawful industrial action at a construction project at the Australian Paper Mill in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
12 April 2017