Protected & unprotected industrial actions

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The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) protects some industrial actions that are done in the course of negotiating a new enterprise agreement. These are called “protected industrial actions”.

People taking part in a protected industrial action are protected from certain legal consequences (liabilities) such as the employer’s loss of profits for that day. But, this immunity does not protect against liability for defamation. It will also not be available if the action has involved, or is likely to involve: personal injury, destruction or damage to property, or the unlawful taking or using of property.

If you are planning or taking part in an unprotected industrial action, the Fair Work Commission can make an order to prevent or stop your action. Contravening an order can result in financial penalties for both individuals and corporations.

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