ASK RENATA

Members of my DWG feel unsafe expressing political opinions at work due to mixed messages from management about whether it’s allowed or not.  

Inconsistent application of policies and procedures or uncertainty about work standards can are known psychological hazards, so tackling this through an OHS lens is important.

Free speech in the workplace can be a somewhat complicated issue. In Australia, we don’t have 'freedom of speech' explicitly protected by the constitution, as they do in the US.

Instead, we have what is called 'implied freedom of political communication' meaning the Government cannot make laws to restrict or breach your implied freedom.

In the workplace, you are also somewhat protected from being discriminated against based on your politics. Under our Victorian Equal Opportunity Act (the EOA), workers have access to legal recourse, but there are complexities.

We suggest checking out VTHC's Free speech at work? It's complicated to clarify your understanding and the importance of acting collectively when defending each other's rights.

Political expression at work comes with risks, but it's also essential to winning a better world. To do it more effectively, without risking your job, join your Union.

Regarding the OHS risks, we strongly encourage you to consult with your employer to clarify their position or policy on freedom of political expression, ensuring it aligns with relevant laws and is applied with consistency and clarity.

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