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What is Adverse Action?

Adverse Action is described in Section 240 of the Fair work Act which says:
“(1) A person must not take adverse action against another person:
(a) because the other person:

(i) has a workplace right; or

(ii) has, or has not, exercised a workplace right; or

(iii) proposes or proposed not to, or has at any time proposed or proposed not to, exercise a workplace right; or

(b) to prevent the exercise of a workplace right by the other person.“

Some practical examples of Adverse Action are:
• Terminating a person’s employment due to them making a complaint;
• Terminating an employee bacause they have made a workers compensation claim;
• Refusing to employ on discriminatory grounds such as race, religion, sex, sexual preference, marital status or family responsibility;
• Discriminating on the terms of the employment;
• Refusing to employ a person due to union membership status;
• Lying about what a job entails;
• Offering a sham contract;
• Offering employment only on the basis that the employee gives up a right.

If an employee makes a claim, the onus of proof is on the employer to claim that an adverse action has not occurred

The time limit to make a claim for adverse action is 21 days after termination.