03 July 2012Perth and Melbourne rallies on 4 July

Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) Chief Executive Leigh Johns today reminded employees wishing to attend the proposed Stop Work rallies being coordinated by the CFMEU in the Melbourne and Perth CBDs on 4 July 2012 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 Johns said.

Mr Johns said the Fair Work Act 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 asked to be paid, for their time at the rally,” Mr Johns said.

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

“The FWBC takes breaches of workplace laws seriously and will investigate instances of non-compliance,” Mr Johns said.

“I encourage employers and employees to get in contact with FWBC to better understand their workplace rights.”

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

“These rights and responsibilities are designed to ensure the on-going productivity of the building and construction industry. And a productive industry benefits all of us. Not just hard working building workers and their employers, but all Australians.”

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/

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