Monday, August 8th, 2016 #MEAAMedia Featured MediaRoom News Releases

MEAA understands that the Fair Work Ombudsman has completed its investigation of industrial action by employees of Fairfax Media between Thursday, 17 March 2016 and Sunday, 20 March this year.

MEAA was served with a wide-ranging Notice to Produce by the FWO on 22 April 2016. MEAA wrote to the FWO in May to assert that the Notice was too broad, lacked particularity and would require re-drafting. The FWO then withdrew its original Notice on May 10 2016. It was unclear whether the FWO would file a further Notice until yesterday’s advice.

The investigation considered whether Fairfax employees had contravened section 417 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) by participating in industrial action and, if so, whether Fairfax complied with section 474 of the FW Act by making appropriate deductions of payments to those employees that participated in the industrial action.

The FWO's investigation found that while unprotected industrial action occurred, it is not in the public interest to take further action at this stage.

The FWO said that in assessing the public interest, it had noted that Fairfax did not make an application to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the industrial action and did not choose to participate in formal records of conversation with Fair Work Inspectors; and that the negotiations directly between Fairfax, its employees and MEAA had led to a settlement of the dispute.

MEAA is pleased that the investigation is over and that no further action will be taken by the Fair Work Ombudsman.