General protections

Everyone in Australia’s national workplace relations system has rights called ‘general protections’. They come from the Fair Work Act 2009 and include:

  • workplace rights (including minimum wages and conditions such as leave)
  • being able to take part in industrial activities (like joining a union)
  • being free from discrimination
  • being free from undue influence or pressure when negotiating individual arrangements.

Read the Workplace rights page for more information.

These rights are protected - employees can’t be treated differently or worse because they have or exercise a right. Some of the actions that employers can’t take, include:

  • adverse action
  • coercion
  • misrepresentations
  • undue influence or pressure when:
    • making or ending an individual flexibility arrangement under a modern award or enterprise agreement
    • accepting a guarantee of annual earnings
    • agreeing, or not agreeing to a deduction from wages.

See What are workers protected from for details about what each of these are.

If you have experienced any of these actions, visit our Coercion and workplace rights section to find out what you can do and how we can help.

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Page last updated: 14 Jan 2013