Protected Action Ballots
The Industrial Relations Act 1999 (the Act) requires a protected action ballot to be conducted by employees, or an employee organisation for industrial action taken in relation to negotiation of a proposed certified agreement.
A protected action ballot order (PABO) must first be obtained from the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC).
The QIRC must make a PABO only if satisfied that three things have occurred:
- firstly, that an application has been properly made under the Act;
- secondly, that each applicant has been genuinely trying to reach an agreement with the relevant employer. The "genuinely trying to reach an agreement" requirement only applies in relation to the particular employer to which the application for a protected action ballot relates;
- thirdly, actual negotiations for the agreement have begun.
As soon as practicable after making a PABO the QIRC must give a copy to each applicant, the relevant employer and the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ).
Protected action ballots must be conducted only by the ECQ in accordance with the PABO, the timetable for the ballot and any procedures prescribed by regulation.
As soon as practicable after the PABO is made the ECQ must notify each employee eligible to vote on the ballot. Notices must include information and be given in the manner prescribed by regulation.
For a ballot to authorise the action, at least 50% of eligible employees must vote and 50% of valid votes cast must approve the industrial action.
After voting closes the ECQ is to declare the results of the ballot and inform each PABO applicant, the employer of employees balloted and the QIRC of the results.
The ECQ publishes all Notices to eligible employees and results of ballots on the ECQ website.