A protected action ballot to authorise industrial action must be undertaken before industrial action can be lawfully taken, except where the action is in response to industrial action by the other party in enterprise bargaining.
Protected action ballots will normally be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
A protected action ballot will only be conducted if the Fair Work Commission makes a protected action ballot order as a result of a protected action ballot application being made.
An application for ballot must:
In considering whether or not to order a protected action ballot, the Commission must be satisfied that the bargaining representative(s) of the employees seeking the ballot have been genuinely trying to reach agreement.
If the Commission grants the application, the order will include details of:
All employees who:
Industrial action is authorised by a ballot if:
To be protected action, the industrial action must commence no more than 30 days after the ballot is declared, unless that time is extended by the Commission.
The Commonwealth pays the cost if the ballot is conducted by the AEC.
Applicants for a protected action ballot, who use a ballot agent other than the AEC, are liable for the full cost of holding the ballot, whether or not the ballot is completed.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009, the Fair Work Commission is required to publish the results of protected action ballots, as soon as practicable after being informed of them.
The left-hand menu on this page provides links to the results of ballots conducted following an order by the Commission or its predecessors, Fair Work Australia or the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.