August 2014 Industry Update
Have you been given notice?
Construction site managers often ask FWBC about who they must allow onto their sites. There are a number of circumstances where union officials are able to legally enter building sites. All union officials who wish to exercise a right to enter a site must hold a valid Federal entry permit issued under the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act).
Unless entry is under a work health and safety (WHS) law, an entry notice must be given to the site occupier and affected employers at least 24 hours prior to entry. This includes visits to investigate a suspected contravention of a workplace law, to hold discussions with employees, or to inspect employment records.
If the union official is entering a site under WHS law, they are not required to provide 24 hours written notice*. When entry is under WHS law, the official must hold a Federal permit and comply with the right of entry provisions in the FW Act.
A union official exercising right of entry must show the entry notice and their Federal permit to the site occupier on request.
*Queensland is the only state or territory where 24 hours written notice is also required for WHS matters.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF A UNION OFFICIAL DOES NOT HAVE A VALID ENTRY NOTICE?
If a union official has not provided an entry notice 24 hours prior, and they were required to, then you may refuse them entry to your site, even if they hold a valid Federal entry permit.
A union official may also be refused entry if they give you an entry notice in advance, but do not show the entry notice and their Federal entry permit on request.
If a union official does not have a right to enter and they are on your site, you should make it clear to the person that they do not have your consent to be on the site, and request that they leave.
You can also refer to your local state police who may be able to help if trespass has occurred.
THE NO-PERMIT LIST AND MORE INFORMATION
If you receive an appropriate entry notice in advance, you can also check the No-Permit List on the FWBC website. This is a list of union officials who do not hold a valid Federal entry permit. The list can be found at www.fwbc.gov.au/no-permit-list.
If you have any questions, you can call our Hotline on 1800 003 338 for confidential advice or you can find more information and download a Right of Entry poster for your site from our website at: www.fwbc.gov.au/right-of-entry-on-site-resources.
We value your feedback on our Industry Update. Please provide feedback or tell us what you would like in your update by contacting us at media [at] fwbc.gov.au.