Your rights at discussion records

Discussion records are meetings with your supervisor or manager regarding an employee and a workplace issue. This might include behaviour and conduct at work or a specific event which has occurred at work and you may have been involved in some way.

A discussion record formally documents that you have been made aware, issued training, or have been given a policy – on record in your file.

It is different from performance meetings or warnings and counsellings.

A discussion record might begin with your manager asking you into their office ‘for a quick chat’ or by them asking ‘have you got a minute?’


Remember, sometimes a chat is not just a chat.

Ask what the chat is about, we speak with members all the time about how they were called in for a ‘chat’ and it ended up being more serious than they first thought.



Representation at discussion records

You have the right to ask your supervisor or manager what the meeting or ‘chat’ will be about. They are required to provide you with adequate notice of the meeting so members can arrange for a union representative to attend if necessary.

If you are provided with specific information or an agenda of the meeting your union representative can assist you to prepare for the meeting. It is illegal for an employer to take adverse action against a member who seeks union representation. It is your right to seek union representation.


Why seek advice from a union representative?

Union representatives can be either a union delegate from your store or a union official from the SDA. They can provide you with valuable industrial advice and advocate for members in meetings.

Union representatives can intervene in meetings, stop the meeting, escalate the meeting, talk and act on behalf of members.

Having union representation ensures that you have access to the necessary industrial support, advice, and ensure that fair process takes place.


Can I have a support person present?

Yes, though it is important to distinguish the difference between a ‘support person’ and a ‘union representative’. A support person has no input into the discussion record, they are simply a silent witness and are there for moral support only. You have the right to choose your own support person to be present and they may be anyone from your store.

However, we recommend that you always choose a union representative.


How do I contact my union union representative?

Check to see if you have a union delegate working in your store. You might already know your delegate, but if you are not sure, you can check the union noticeboard in your store.

If you do not have a delegate in your store you can contact the SDA on 1300 732 4357.

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