As members may be aware, the CFMEU is promoting a Union Rally commencing at 10.30am on Tuesday 20 June at Victorian Trades Hall. The purpose of the rally appears to be to provide a platform for the CFMEU to continue its ideological war against the Australian Government – and further mislead its membership with its anti-Building Code 2016 propaganda.
Master Builders advises that there is no requirement for employers to allow their employees to attend.
Employees who withdrew their labour to attend the rally without advanced written authorization from their employer cannot be paid wages:
• for a minimum of four hours if they withdraw their labour for up to four hours; or
• if withdrawn for greater than four hours, the amount of time that labour is withdrawn.
Accordingly, members are advised to keep records of any employee absences as the payment of employees who attend the rally without consent from the employer can lead to fines for employers of up to $180,000.
Role of the ABCC
The industry regulator, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), has the ability to prosecute where strike pay is provided, with fines of up to $180,000 for employers or unions involved in paying or demanding strike pay and fines of up $36,000 for individuals receiving or demanding strike pay. Building and construction industry workers who attend the rally without their employer’s consent could face penalties of up to $36,000 if they are found to have breached the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 in relation to engaging in unlawful industrial action.
Members are also reminded that contractors covered by the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Building Code 2016), have a duty to notify the ABCC of a breach, or a suspected breach of the code (including unlawful industrial action), within two working days of becoming aware of it.
Members seeking further advice should contact the IR Department on (03) 9411 4560 and/or the ABCC on 1800 003 338.