Everybody has the right to join a union or not
Every Australian worker has the right to join a trade union or employee association and engage in union activity.
They also have the right to not join a union.
A union or employee association is a body that represents the interests of workers in a particular industry or occupation.
Your right to join a union or to not join a union is protected under the General Protections provisions of the Fair Work Act.
It is illegal for a person to pressure another person about their choice.
For example, an employer can’t pressure an employee to join a union, or to not join a union.
It is also illegal to take, or threaten to take, adverse action against a person for being a member of a union, or not being a member of a union, or for taking part or not taking part in industrial activity.
An adverse action against a person can include:
- sacking them
- changing their role to put them in a worse position
- changing their terms and conditions to put them in a worse position
How we can help
If you have experienced discrimination on the basis of trade union membership or activity, or your choice not to join a union, our team of Australian workplace lawyers and industrial advocates can help.
We can file a claim in the Human Rights Commission and represent you in any other relevant court, commission or tribunal.
Our team has a proven track record negotiating substantial compensation pay outs for our clients who have experienced unlawful discrimination.
If you are dismissed from employment because of your union membership or activity, or your choice not to join a union, you only have 21-days from the date of dismissal to file a claim, so don’t delay!
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LAST UPDATED: March 2022