Other employment obligations
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Employees have a legal right to choose whether or not to be a union member.
The freedom of association provisions contained in the Industrial Relations Act 1979 protect employees in the Western Australian relations system from discrimination due to membership or non-membership of a union.
It is unlawful for an employer to:
- ask an employee to cease their union membership;
- ask an employee to join or not join a union;
- treat an employee less favourably or more favourably according to whether or not they are, will become or cease to be a union member; or
- refuse to employ someone based on their union membership or non-union membership.
It is also unlawful under the Fair Work Act 2009 to terminate an employee on the basis of membership or non-membership of a union, or on the basis of participation in union activities outside working hours, or with the employer's consent, during working hours.
Workplace discrimination and harassment are unlawful under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (EO Act). The EO Act applies to both direct and indirect forms of discrimination and covers all aspects of employment, including the recruitment, management and termination of employees.
The Act sets out the types or grounds of discrimination which are unlawful. They are:
- family responsibility;
- family status;
- gender history;
- disability or impairment;
- marital status;
- political conviction;
- racial harassment;
- religious conviction;
- sex; and
- sexual harassment.
Further information is available from the Equal Opportunity Commission.
Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour that can occur at work and/or in the course of employment. It may be direct or indirect, verbal or physical, or some form of negative interaction between employees. Such behaviour undermines an individual's right to dignity at work.
Workplace bullying can affect the safety and health of employees, and therefore should be managed like any other workplace hazard. Employers have a legislative duty to find out if bullying occurs in their workplaces and to take steps to stop it happening.
Contact WorkSafe for further information on the prevention of workplace bullying.
It is compulsory for employers to have workers' compensation insurance.
Workers' compensation insurance protects employers and businesses from financial claims when workers sustain a work related injury or disease.
The definition of a 'worker' is very broad and includes full time, part time, casual and seasonal workers. All workers should be covered for work related injury or disease whether they are paid by wages, salary, commission, piece rates or even payment in kind.
For further information, contact the WorkCover WA Advisory Service on 1300 794 744 or go to the WorkCover website.