The rights of a union official to enter premises is generous under the Fair Work Act 2009 and in most circumstances, you’re asking for trouble if you try to prevent or interfere with them entering the workplace without a very good reason.
Equally, they cannot just turn up or have repeated visits for no good reason and sit about helping themselves to your coffee and generally disturbing staff break times.
A union official, just like any other person, can enter your premises if you let them in. A union official however, who is attending your service to undertake “union business”, can only enter a service to carry out that work if they have:
When a union official enters a workplace, they can only speak with a worker if:
What Rules Apply To Union Official's
When a union official arrives at your service, they must show you their right-of-entry permit if you ask to see it. They also must show it to you when they want to access documents. We always suggest you take a photocopy for the services records.
If the official has a valid entry permit and has complied with the relevant rules below, you cannot stop them from entering the workplace.
PRIOR NOTICE OF A VISIT
Before anyone from the union turns up on union business, they must give written notice of that intention at least 24 hours but no more than 14 days before the intended visit date.
If the date doesn’t suit you for any operational reason, you must contact the union immediately to advise them and we suggest you provide some alternative dates that will not disrupt the service.
WHAT CAN THEY DO ON SITE
Most of the time the Union attends to solicit members and talk about Union activities, officials can:
WHAT CAN’T THEY DO ON SITE
Union officials can’t:
ACCESSING DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS
The right-of-entry permit allows a union official to inspect and copy any record or document that is directly relevant to a suspected breach where:
The records must substantially relate to a member of the union.
ACCESS TO MEETING ROOMS FOR DISCUSSIONS AND INTERVIEW
Union officials have to be given access to a meeting room for discussions or interviews including discussions about membership or whatever campaign the union is running at the time.
Most services provide them with access to the programming area or office for privacy.
If the union official doesn’t want to go into a programming room or the office (they don’t agree with your suggestion), they can insist on holding discussions and interviews at the place where the worker is normally allowed to take breaks.
What Should You Do with Your Staff
FURTHER HELP AND ASSISTANCE
For any member assistance call the hotline on (02) 6150 0800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org