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What are General Protection Rights in Australian Workplace Law

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Australia is responsible for handling disputes related to workplace issues, including general protections. The general protections provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 provide employees with a range of workplace rights and protections, including the right to:

  1. Protection from workplace discrimination, including discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, disability, and sexual orientation.

  2. Freedom of association, including the right to join a union or other workplace organization.

  3. Protection from workplace bullying and harassment.

  4. Access to leave entitlements, including sick leave, annual leave, and long service leave.

  5. Protection from unfair dismissal.

  6. The right to request flexible working arrangements, including part-time work, job sharing, and working from home.

  7. Protection from adverse action, including being treated unfairly or dismissed because of making a complaint or raising a concern about workplace issues.

The FWC has the power to hear and resolve disputes related to these general protections provisions.

What are General Protection Rights in Australian Workplace Law
What are General Protection Rights in Australian Workplace Law

This includes conciliation conferences, where parties can attempt to resolve their dispute through a facilitated discussion, and formal hearings, where evidence is presented and a decision is made by a commissioner of the FWC.


If an employee believes their rights under the general protections provisions have been breached, they can make a complaint to the FWC within 21 days of the alleged breach.


The FWC can then investigate the complaint, and if a breach is found, can order the employer to pay compensation or take other action to remedy the breach.


Overall, the general protections provisions provide important workplace rights and protections for employees in Australia, and the FWC plays a key role in ensuring these rights are upheld.


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