The Morrison Government has released a new regulation amending the current Fair Work Regulations 2009 to require union officials who hold Right of Entry (RoE) permits to:

  • Present an ID card in an approved format, that includes a photo of the authorised permit holder and clearly states any relevant permit conditions
  • When presenting Right of Entry notice forms, to incorporate specific acknowledgments of the rights and responsibilities an official has when exercising a right under the Fair Work Act 2009.

The changes are a positive step towards achieving a stronger and fairer approach to rules about union officials entering workplaces. However, more needs to be done and Master Builders will be asking both major parties to ensure they close the remaining loopholes that building unions regularly exploit.

The building and construction industry is plagued by a history of unions breaching RoE rules, with the list of court cases and penalty decisions growing longer every day. Since 2015, there have been breaches of RoE rules on construction sites:

  • By 58 individual CFMEU officials
  • At least 189 times
  • Resulting in penalties of almost $3 million (with three further penalty hearings already set for 2019).

While Master Builders is pleased that the Morrison Government has heard the voice of the building industry, small business and sub-contractors, more needs to be done in order to ensure that RoE laws are no longer able to be exploited by union officials in order to get on site to bully and intimidate small businesses and their workers.

A copy of the new regulations can be accessed here, with the date of commencement 1 July 2019.

Members seeking further information should contact the IR Department on (03) 9411 4560.