Construction workers should ensure they have permission from their employers before attending a proposed union rally at the Federal Court in Perth tomorrow.

Fair Work Building and Construction Director Nigel Hadgkiss said workers who plan on attending the rally should make sure their actions do not breach the Fair Work Act 2009.

“Breaches of the Fair Work Act can potentially lead to Federal Court Action and penalties of up to $10,800 for an individual and $54,000 for employers and unions,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

“Workers have the right to express their views peacefully but the must do so within the law.

“Workers need permission from their employer if they want to participate in the rally outside of their break times,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

Employers and unions are also reminded to make sure they meet their obligations relating to strike pay.

“Under the Fair Work Act, people cannot be paid ‘strike-pay’ for the time they spend at the rally. Employers may be penalised if they are found to have paid staff for attending the rally outside regular break times,” Mr Hadgkiss said.  

“Unions can also be fined if they are found to have demanded ‘strike-pay’.

 “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.

“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,” Mr Hadgkiss said.

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