Historically protections from unlawful actions being taken in or in relation to the workplace have been scattered throughout legislation. The introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 saw these provisions collected together in a single Part.
The principal protections have been divided into:
Certain persons, including employers, principals, employees and industrial associations; are prohibited from taking adverse action against certain other persons because the other person has, or exercises, a workplace right, or engages in industrial activity. Adverse action includes dismissal of an employee but also includes a range of other action such as prejudicing an employee or independent contractor and organising industrial action against another person. Coercion and misrepresentation in relation to workplace rights and industrial activities are also prohibited.
All of the general protections prohibitions are civil remedy provisions.
A civil remedy provision is a provision of the Fair Work Act that if breached, means that the person affected can apply to a Court for an order for a financial penalty against the alleged wrong-doer, or any other order the Court considers appropriate such as an injunction.
A person who is involved in a contravention of a civil remedy provision is taken to have contravened that provision.
A person is involved in a contravention of a civil remedy provision if, and only if, the person:
See Fair Work Act s.336
The general protections have been introduced to: