See Fair Work Act s.409
The majority of protected industrial action taken is employee claim action. The following diagram illustrates the process by which industrial action may be taken that is protected.
Employee claim action is industrial action for a proposed enterprise agreement:
that is organised or engaged in for the purpose of supporting or advancing claims in relation to the agreement, and
where the claims are only about, or reasonably believed to be about, permitted matters.
The industrial action must be organised or engaged in:
- against an employer that will be covered by the proposed enterprise agreement, and:
- by a bargaining representative of an employee who will be covered by the proposed enterprise agreement, or
- by an employee who is included in a group or groups of employees specified in a protected action ballot order for the industrial action.
Note: If a union is a bargaining representative of an employee who will be covered by the proposed enterprise agreement, the reference to a bargaining representative of the employee includes a reference to an officer of the union.
What constitutes a reasonable belief depends on the circumstances of the case and the person concerned.
The Commission would expect an official of a union with extensive experience in enterprise bargaining to have a greater appreciation of the limits of the permitted matters than a novice employee bargaining representative who has been appointed by his or her colleagues to represent them in bargaining with the employer.