08 December 2015FWBC Director warns employees and workers to obey workplace laws when attending Melbourne rally

Construction workers and employers are encouraged to make sure they understand their workplace rights and obligations with many people taking part in a rally outside the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court today.

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss said workers and employers should take steps to ensure their conduct does not breach the Fair Work Act 2009 and potentially expose them to Federal Court action.

“Workers have the right to peacefully express their views but penalties may apply if their conduct constitutes unlawful industrial action,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“If workers want to participate in the rally outside break times they need to have permission from their employer. Workers cannot be paid or demand to be paid for the time they spend at the rally.

“Employers and unions may also face penalties if they are found to have paid or demanded strike pay.”

Mr Hadgkiss said FWBC would not hesitate to investigate possible breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 and bring people before the court where necessary.

“I would encourage anyone who has any questions about their workplace entitlements and obligations to get in touch with FWBC through our hotline on 1800 003 338,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

 “FWBC is available to provide information and advice on workplace rights and obligations to workers, employers and their representatives. You can remain anonymous when you make an enquiry.

“These rights and obligations are designed to ensure the ongoing productivity of the building and construction industry. All Australians, including industry participants, gain from a productive industry.”

Building and construction industry workers who attend the rally during their work hours without their employer’s permission could face penalties of up to $10,800 if they are found to have breached the Fair Work Act. Employers or unions could face penalties of $54,000 for involvement in paying or demanding strike pay.

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