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Every Australian worker has the right to join a union, and the right to not join a union.

A union is a body that represents the interests of workers in a particular industry or occupation.

Your right to join a union or to not join a union is protected under the General Protections provisions of the Fair Work Act.

It is illegal for a person to pressure another person about their choice – for example, an employer can’t pressure an employee to join a union, or to not join a union.

It is also illegal to take, or threaten to take, adverse action against a person for being a member of a union, or not being a member of a union, or for taking part or not taking part in industrial activity.

An adverse action against a person can include:

  • sacking them
  • changing their role to put them in a worse position
  • changing their terms and conditions to put them in a worse position

How we can help

If you have experienced discrimination on the basis of trade union activity, our team of Australian workplace lawyers and industrial advocates at Discrimination Claims can help.

We can take action on your behalf and represent you in the Human Rights Commission or any other relevant court or tribunal.

We are specialists at negotiating large compensation payments for those who have been subjected to unlawful discrimination, including trade union activity discrimination.

IMPORTANT:  If you have been dismissed from employment because of your trade union activity, you only have 21 days from the date of your dismissal to lodge a claim, so don’t delay!

Read more about trade union activity discrimination

>>  Amazon worker says he was sacked for joining a union

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LAST UPDATED: January 2023

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