Union entry not outside work hours

In a significant decision on entry rights, a Federal Court Full Bench has confirmed that a Union organiser’s right to hold discussions with union members or potential members during "breaks" does not include the period before and after their shifts.

The CFMMEU argued there is a right to meet with workers before their shifts begin but the company argued that section 490 only allowed the Union to exercise its section 484 entry right during employees' "mealtimes or other breaks", and there were none in the period in which they sought discussions.

The Court ruled that break refers to “interruption” and "Therefore, it must necessarily occur during, not before or after, working hours".

[Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union v BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd [2018] FCAFC 107 (6 July 2018)]

Disclaimer: the short summary above is not legal advice and for more information on rights of entry call NECA Legal (WA) Pty Ltd on (08) 6241 6129 or email necalegal@necawa.asn.au.