Have you ever been asked by your boss to do something that just doesn’t feel right?
It could only be a small task, but your instinct is telling you it’s either unsafe, illegal or unethical.
That uncomfortable feeling can be difficult to speak out about, particularly if your employer is applying pressure.
Saying no could leave you feeling like you’ll be a workplace outcast, your shifts will be cut back or worse still, you’ll lose your job.
By joining your union, you can find support and representation when it comes to taking a stand for your rights and fighting for what’s fair.
And with COVID-19 shifting the goalposts on a myriad of workplace conditions, union membership is now more important than ever.
With lockdown conditions easing and many Victorians returning to work, there are new workplace safety challenges around personal protective equipment (PPE), cleanliness and hygiene and physical distancing.
As part of the new COVID-normal, every Victorian business must now have a COVID Safe Plan.
The plans, which became mandatory from September 13, are designed to not only prevent coronavirus in hundreds of workplaces, but to pre-empt the actions required should an infection be detected.
They should outline what steps are being taken to help prevent COVID-19 in the workplace, the PPE required in the workforce, the preparation and responses necessary if a coronavirus case is confirmed in the workplace, and how state laws are being met.
COVID-19 has forced employers to take new steps to protect their workers and the wider community.
Some may be tempted to cut corners in the rush to return to business as normal, while others may ignore their responsibilities around basic conditions such as sick pay, annual leave, penalty rates and reasonable work hours.
Joining a union is the best way to protect yourself and ensure your rights are not swept under the carpet.