The Fair Work Commission (FWC) can issue orders to stop industrial action and restrict payment for employees during periods of industrial action, under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Examples of industrial action

  • Working a different way to how a job is usually performed
  • Practices that result in a restriction, limitation or delay in performing work
  • A ban, limitation or restriction on work performance or accepting work
  • Failing or refusing to attend or perform work.

If an employee refuses to perform work due to a reasonable concern for their immediate health or safety it isn't deemed to be taking industrial action. However, the employee mustn’t unreasonably fail to comply with your direction to perform other work that is safe – whether it’s at their usual workplace or another workplace.

Unprotected industrial action

An employee who participates in unlawful action that contravenes an order of the FWC or isn’t carried out in accordance with the Fair Work Act, is taking unprotected industrial action and may be exposed to liability.

Strike pay

It’s unlawful for you to pay wages (strike pay) to employees for a period of unprotected industrial action, under the Fair Work Act 2009.

You can only pay employees if the stoppage or industrial action has been authorised by you in writing in advance and is based on an imminent risk to their health or safety.

If you want help responding to industrial activity, or need us to represent you at the FWC, contact Master Builders’ Workplace Relations team.

Need more information?

If you haven’t found the answer to your questions on our website, give us a call or email us.

Major Sponsors