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Key terms for worker consultation and representation

A worker and health and safety representative (HSR) may seek to involve a representative, suitable entity and/or a relevant union in WHS matters.

For the purposes of Part 5 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 a worker representative can be a HSR or suitable entity.

A suitable entity means:

  • a relevant union
  • an entity which is not an excluded entity.

Examples include an entity with technical expertise, such as an engineer or a physiotherapist.

A relevant union means a union of which the worker is a member or is eligible to be a member, and whose rules entitle the union to represent the worker’s industrial interests. The union must be an employee organisation registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth) or Industrial Relations Act 2016.

An excluded entity means –

  • an entity, other than a union, that is an association of employees or independent contractors (or both)
  • another entity, other than a union or association of employees, that represents or claim to represent the industrial interest of the worker or representative
  • an entity that demands or receives a fee from another excluded body for representing or claiming to represent the industrial interests of the worker or representative
  • individual connected with excluded entity (e.g., an employee or an agent)
  • a union that is not a relevant union for the worker.

Learn more about worker consultation.