11 June 2014Hadgkiss warns employers and workers to obey workplace laws when attending rally

Workers are reminded they must get permission from their employer before leaving work to attend rallies, or they risk breaking workplace laws and could be brought before the courts.

FWBC is also warning employers and unions they could face penalties if they are involved in paying or demanding strike pay.

FWBC understands numerous unions are staging a rally in Melbourne this Thursday 12 June 2014.

FWBC Director, Nigel Hadgkiss, said workers have the right to meet in public and peacefully express their views, but must adhere to workplace laws.

“If workers want to take part in the rally outside of their break times, they need to seek their employer’s permission. Workers who participate in the rally during work hours without permission cannot be paid, or ask to be paid, for their time at the rally. Further, their conduct may constitute unprotected industrial action, which is illegal,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“FWBC will not hesitate to bring people before the court where necessary.”

Mr Hadgkiss encouraged employers and employees to get in contact with FWBC if they need information about their workplace rights and responsibilities.

“You can call our Hotline on 1800 003 338 for confidential advice,” he said.

Building and construction industry workers who attend the rally during their work hours without their employer’s permission could face penalties of up to $10,200. Employers or unions could be penalised up to $51,000 for involvement in paying or demanding strike pay.

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