Employment advocate activities 15/10/97

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Employment advocate activities 15/10/97

135 complaints have been filed with the Office of the Employment Advocate under the ‘Freedom of Association’ provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

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135 complaints have been filed with the Office of the Employment Advocate under the ‘Freedom of Association’ provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

The majority of complaints have been in the building, construction and transport industries, arising out of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The Freedom of Association provisions (Pt XA) are intended to "ensure that employers, employees and independent contractors are free to join industrial associations of their choice or not to join industrial associations". The Act allows affected parties to apply directly to the Federal Court for a remedy or otherwise to seek the intervention of the Employment Advocate who is empowered to prosecute breaches on behalf of complainants.

The Employment Advocate advises that upon receiving complaints, his first action is to seek voluntary compliance. In addition, officers of the Employment Advocate have been visiting worksites to explain to employers and employees the Freedom of Association provisions.

AWA update

As at 30 September 1997, the Employment Advocate has:

  • approved 2095 AWAs, covering 113 employers;
  • refused 80 AWAs, covering 21 employers; and
  • referred 194 AWAs covering 6 employers to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (see further ‘AWAs considered by Federal Commission’).
 
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