There are some of the strongest protections for workers when it comes to Australian employment laws. It ensures their safety from being exploited and allows them to be compensated in certain unfair situations that can arise in the workplace. When dealing with a legal matter in the workplace, it is recommended to consult a legal professional for proper and knowledgable advice. Usually, companies have their own legal team prepared for handling situations, but if an employee feels their rights have been breached, they should contact a lawyer.
What are employees protected from?
Employees should not be afraid to make requests for information or the change of something within the company due to repercussions that an employer may threaten. Employers who threaten:
- Terminating employment
- Injury to an employment
- Demoting employees
Unless the employee is not following the employment contract, it is unlawful to take adverse action against them.
If an employee feels they are not receiving the proper compensation so they request assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman. If the employer finds out and demotes the employee, this is viewed as unlawful since the employer took adverse action against the employee.
Employers do not have the right to make employees do something they do not want to do through intimidation or threats. Many of the adverse actions fall into the coercion category. The difference is that the employee did not take action first.
If an employee does not want to do something against their will (out of the scope of their job description) and the employer threatens to terminate the employee so they will do the task. That is coercive behavior and is counted as unlawful behavior.
Employers are not able to give false information to employees. The employment contract should be available for employees to access and hold all the information employees need to know about their position. Whether it contains their annual leave, sick and carer’s leave and compensations, employers have to be forthcoming.
If an employee asks an employer about leave and the employer does not give the correct information to try and mislead the employee. The employer could give the employer the wrong number of weeks they get annually or for sick leave and it is considered misrepresentation.
As an employee, if you feel that you have lost your job for an unfair reason, feel as though you’re being coerced, or feel that your rights are being violated, seek out legal help. Determine whether or not this is a situation that can be handled with just your employer or if legal action is necessary. Even going to a lawyer for advice on the situation can help determine what actions should be taken to resolve the issue.
**This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. In relation to your individual situation, always seek advice specific to your circumstances from a lawyer.