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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Page: 9454

Fair Work Australia

(Question No. 1311)


Senator Abetz asked the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, upon notice, on 31 October 2011:

In regard to the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act), right of entry provisions: (1) Is it open to Fair Work Australia to issue an exception certification in certain circumstances; if so, what are these circumstances. (2) Have any exception certificates been granted by Fair Work Australia; if so: (a) how many; and (b) in what circumstances. (3) What restrictions are placed on a permit holder's powers to protect confidentiality and trade secrets. (4) Which party bears the costs of: (a) a right of entry; (b) staff time allocated to the right of entry; and (c) photocopying for the purposes of the exercise of a right of entry.


Senator Chris Evans: The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) Section 519 of the Fair Work Act 2009 provides that Fair Work Australia must issue an exemption certificate to an organisation for an entry under section 481 (which deals with entry to investigate suspected contraventions) if:

the organisation has applied for the certificate; and

Fair Work Australia reasonably believes that advance notice of the entry given by an entry notice might result in the destruction, concealment or alteration of relevant evidence.

(2) One exemption certificate has been granted by Fair Work Australia on the basis that Fair Work Australia reasonably believed that advance notice of the entry given by an entry notice might result in the destruction, concealment or alteration of relevant evidence.

(3) Section 504 of the Fair Work Act 2009 deals with the use or disclosure of information or documents obtained in the investigation of a suspected contravention of the Fair Work Act or a term of a fair work instrument.

(4) The Fair Work Act 2009 makes no provision as to which party bears the costs of: (a) a right of entry; (b) staff time allocated to the right of entry; and (c) photocopying for the purposes of the exercise of a right of entry.