CFMMEU official’s right of entry permit suspended

CFMMEU official’s right of entry permit suspended

As the Federal government continues to ‘wind back’ the resources and powers of the building industry watchdog, the ABCC, another official from a prominent construction union, has had their right of entry permit suspended by the Fair Work Commission.

Mr Dean Leslie Rielly has been an official of the Construction, Forestry, Marine, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMMEU) for six years. Mr Rielly was issued with a right of entry permit pursuant to s 512 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the FW Act).

His permit was due to expire on 24 June 2022. The ABCC intervened in the renewal proceedings claiming Mr Rielly did not satisfy ‘the fit and proper person’ test required of a permit holder.

Deputy President Tony Saunders agreed with their suspension, refusing to grant a permit renewal to Mr Rielly.

The Deputy President noted several recent acts of inappropriate conduct by Mr Reilly.

In ABCC v Rielly (No 3) (Coffs Harbour Hospital Case), Mr Rielly was ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty of $10,000 for contravening ss 340, 346, 348 and 355 of the Act. His employer, the CFMMEU, was ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty of $80,000 for contravening the Act, partly as a result of Mr Rielly’s conduct. The contravening conduct took place in January and March 2019.

In ABCC v CFMEU (No 4) (Pacific Highway Upgrade Case), Mr Rielly was ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty of $8,820 for contravening s 500 of the Act. The CFMMEU was ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty of $100,800 for contravening the Act, partly as a result of Mr Rielly’s conduct. The contravening conduct took place on 22 August 2019.

In both cases, the presiding judge was highly critical of Mr Rielly’s behaviour.

In assessing his permit application, Deputy President Saunders acknowledged that Rielly had undertaken training and better understood the legal requirements imposed upon him. However, it was not sufficient to sway him to grant a permit.

As the Deputy President noted,

However, it is clear from the nature of the contravening conduct in which Mr Rielly engaged in 2019 in connection with the Coffs Harbour Hospital Case and the Pacific Highway Upgrade Case that he must or ought to have been aware that he was acting in a manner contrary to his obligations under the Act. By acting in the deliberate manner that he did in those cases, Mr Rielly allowed his motivation to behave in what he considered to be in the bests interests of workers to take priority over his obligations under the Act. That causes me serious concern that Mr Rielly will act in a similar manner in the future when he faces difficult situations while exercising a right of entry onto a workplace”.

The permit application was refused.

Fair Work Commission finds CFMMEU official Dean Rielly not fit and proper to hold entry permit

For queries about unions, right of entry, safety, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 WAL LAW, 0417 622 178 or via email to dean.cameron@workforceadvisory.com.au

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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