March 2014 Industry Update

Right of Entry - Ask to see the permit

FWBC Director Nigel Hadgkiss is urging site managers to demand to see, and carefully inspect, original Right of Entry permits before allowing union officials on their sites.

Right of Entry permit holders are entitled to enter building sites, but they must strictly follow the Right of Entry laws when doing so.

“Reports of permit holders shrinking their official A4 sized permit to the size of a business card, making it difficult to read, are particularly concerning,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“A police officer would not accept a photocopy of a driving license or one in a different format. Site management should be equally demanding.”

“Know your rights. It is within your rights to request to see and inspect the original permit.”

“If a person enters your site without permission or without a valid permit which they show to you, you are entitled to call the police,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

In a recent penalty judgment, his Honour Judge Burnett said words to the effect “The Right of Entry is a position of trust and those who seek to abuse the right should be dealt with”.

In this case, three officials claimed to be on site to address safety concerns. It remains unknown why one of the officials carried an EFTPOS machine. Judge Burnett said “undoubtedly their behaviour was directed more to recruitment and membership retention than any other object.”  You can read more about this case here.

The best way to fight Right of Entry problems is to know your rights. FWBC can help you understand them. You can call our Hotline on 1800 003 338 for confidential advice or you can find more information on our website.

We value your feedback on our Industry Update. Provide feedback or tell us what you would like in your update by contacting Sarah Mennie on 03 8509 3097 or Sarah.Mennie [at] fwbc.gov.au

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