E-Alert - Melbourne Rally on 30 April 2013

Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) Acting Director Brian Corney today reminded employees wishing to attend the proposed Stop Work rallies being coordinated by the CFMEU in Melbourne on 30 April 2013, that they should get permission from their employer before leaving worksites, or they risk falling foul of workplace laws.

“Workers, like all citizens, have a right to express their views, but it is important that workplace laws are adhered to,” Mr Corney said.

Mr Corney said the Fair Work Act 2009 prohibits unprotected industrial action and the payment of strike pay.

“If employees want to take part in the CFMEU’s Stop Work rally outside of their lunch or break times, they need to seek their employer’s permission to do so. Employees who participate in the rally during work hours and without permission can’t be paid, or ask to be paid, for their time at the rally,” Mr Corney  said.

Mr Corney said it is important that employees and employers understand the rules about industrial action, because penalties apply to those who do the wrong thing.

“I encourage employers and employees to get in contact with FWBC if they need information about their workplace rights and obligations,” Mr Corney said.

“FWBC is readily available to provide information and advice on workplace rights and obligations to workers, employers and their representatives.

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

FWBC is committed to supporting a balanced framework for cooperative, productive and harmonious workplace relations in the building and construction industry—to ensure that there is an environment where the industry can attract strong investment, skilled workers and deliver vital national infrastructure.

Members of the building and construction industry seeking advice on their workplace rights and obligations should call the FWBC Hotline on 1800 003 338 or visit http://www.fwbc.gov.au/