‘Permission to pause’ is just more Post spin. Workers already have the right to cease or refuse unsafe work. These rights are contained in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the Post OHS Agreement 2013 that was negotiated by the CWU and the Post EBA.
Notwithstanding Post’s latest spin, Postal workers have a right to stop work in certain circumstances. You can also refuse to perform a task if you have a reasonable concern that this work would expose you to a serious risk. This risk must arise from some aspect of the work and it must expose you to an immediate or imminent hazard. Examples may include throwing rolls of carpet above shoulder height into back of a van, violence, falling from height.
When a worker ceases to perform unsafe work they must immediately notify their supervisor/manager (unless they are ceasing because a HSR has ordered the cease work). The worker must make him or herself available for suitable alternative work. ‘Suitable alternative work’ includes safe and healthy work within the worker’s job description/classification.
Under Post’s ‘permission to pause’ you can expect to have a conversation with your supervisor about whether the safety concern was real or perceived! And we know what that will be.