Right of Entry for Union Officials


When can a union official enter the work site for discussions with employees?

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission has determined that breaks, for the purposes of s 490 of the Fair Work Act relating to right of entry for discussions with employees, are meal breaks and other non-work breaks within the working hours. The term ‘other breaks’ does not include times before and after a shift.

This means that right of entry notices for discussions with employees before or during prestart or after ceasing times, can be rejected on the basis that the times of entry are outside the Fair Work Act’s prescribed times.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v BHP Billiton Nickel West P/L[2016] FWC 3829 (12 July 2016)

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