It is always a vexed question on allowing union officials access to employees.  There are clear requirements under the FWA, but on a practical level Councils may have their own less stringent approaches.

In a recent matter where the union official obviously outwore his welcome, the FWC’s Commissioner Lewin ([2014] FWC 3169) has published a “Recommendation” relating to a Union Official entering workplaces.  This “Recommendation,” under s505 of the FWA, involved the meat workers’ union and a Queensland meat packer, the parties agreed to a protocol:

  • Visits to hold discussions with employees to be conducted weekly
  • Supplementary visits may be agreed during EBA negotiations
  • Additional visits permissible where an employee requests it
  • Visits are to occur during lunch breaks, in the lunch room and only addressed to employees who wish to participate in the meetings

Greg Reiffel Industrial Relations & Human Resources Consulting has been providing the following services to businesses for over 30 years:


  • General HR and IR advisory service.
  • Fair Work Commission representation (eg unfair dismissals, adverse actions, etc.).
  • Workplace investigations and mediations.
  • Policies and procedures.
  • Discipline & Termination.
  • People Audits (are you at risk of prosecution?).
  • Enterprise Agreements, Contracts of Employment, Individual Flexibility Agreements.
  • On-site HR services.

Contact Greg on 0438 906 050 or mailto: