To end proceedings or to suspend them to another time or place.
To request that a decision of a single member of the Commission be reviewed by a Full Bench to determine if the decision made is consistent with the Fair Work Act 2009. An appeal can only be made on the grounds that an error of law or fact has been made. A person must seek the permission of the Commission to lodge an appeal by lodging a Form F7—Notice of Appeal.
Bullying at work, as defined by the Fair Work Act 2009, occurs when:
Bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.
A formal procedure outlining the processes used, including disciplinary measures, to resolve bullying in the workplace. A policy would normally include definitions of bullying, a worker's responsibility in relation to bullying and the step by step process that should be adopted when bullying is reported.
A set of rules and responsibilities that govern an organisation. A code of conduct generally sets out appropriate and inappropriate behaviour of employees within an organisation.
Abbreviation for Fair Work Commission.
Refers to the Commonwealth government or an Australian territory.
A private proceeding conducted by a Fair Work Commission Member.
A constitutionally covered business is:
It does not include sole traders, partnerships, some state government employees, corporations whose main activity is not trading or financial.
A judgment or conclusion reached after considering the facts and law. A decision in relation to a matter before the Commission can include the names of the parties and will generally outline the basis for the application, comment on the evidence provided and include the judgment of the Commission in relation to the matter. A decision can be made by a single member or a Full Bench of the Commission. It is legally enforceable.
Instructions given to the parties by the Commission that set out a timetable in accordance with which they must file in the Commission and serve on each other an outline of submissions, witness statements and any supporting documents.
Information which tends to prove or disprove the existence of particular belief, fact or proposition. Certain evidence may or may not be accepted by the Commission, however the Commission is not bound the normal rules of evidence. Evidence is usually contained within or attached to a witness statement or provided verbally by a witness in a hearing.
The principal Commonwealth law governing Australia's workplace relations system. Go to the Fair Work Act 2009.
Australia's independent, national workplace relations tribunal, established under the Fair Work Act 2009, from July 2009 to December 2012. Fair Work Australia assumed the functions of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and the Australian Fair Pay Commission and the agreement-making function of the Workplace Authority. Fair Work Australia was renamed the Fair Work Commission on 1 January 2013.
A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission is convened by the Fair Work Commission President and comprises at least three Fair Work Commission Members, one of whom must be a Deputy President. Full Benches are convened to hear appeals, matters of significant national interest and various other matters specifically provided for in the Fair Work Act 2009.
Unwanted and offensive conduct or behaviour by a person or persons directed towards another person based on an attribute such as a person’s age, gender, race, religion or a disability. Harassment can be physical or psychological.
A public proceeding conducted by a Fair Work Commission Member. A hearing is generally more formal than a conference, and may be held if the matter can't be resolved at mediation, conciliation or conference.
The scope of the Commission’s power and what the Commission can and cannot do. The power of the Commission to deal with matters is contained in legislation. The Commission can only deal with matters for which it has been given power by the Commonwealth Parliament.
An objection to an application on the basis that the Fair Work Commission does not have jurisdiction to deal with the matter. A jurisdictional objection is not simply that the respondent thinks the applicant's case has no merit.
A case or legal proceeding before the Commission.
An informal, confidential and voluntary process. It is one of the processes used by the Commission to facilitate the resolution of a grievance or a dispute between parties by helping them reach an agreement.
A person appointed by the Governor-General to decide matters at the Commission. A Member may be the President, a Vice President, a Deputy President or a Commissioner.
An entity that is not a constitutional corporation. The following are not constitutional corporations:
An order is a ruling made by a Fair Work Commission Member after he or she hears your case. Once an order has been made, anyone bound by that order must follow it.
The end result of an application made to the Commission.
A written document that clearly sets out the key elements of a case. All facts, information and evidence that you wish to bring to the attention of the Commission should be included in your outline of submissions.
An organisation in which two or more persons carry on a business together and it is not a constitutional corporation as defined.
A person or organisation involved in a matter before the Commission. A party is generally known as either an applicant or a respondent.
A person or business that has entered into a contract for services with an independent contractor.
A business owned and operated by private individuals for profit, instead of by a government or its agencies.
When persons are treated equally or fairly before the law (also known as due process). For example, procedural fairness occurs when both parties to a dispute have an opportunity to be heard or to defend themselves.
A proprietary limited company. A constitutionally covered business.
In relation to an anti-bullying application, reasonable management action is the action or behaviour of management that is considered to be carried out in a reasonable manner. Reasonable management action does not constitute workplace bullying.
Reasonable management action may include:
In each of these examples, if they are not carried out in a reasonable manner, then they could still be considered bullying.
A requirement to send a copy of a document (and all supporting documents) to another party or their representative, usually within a specified period. A person’s obligation to serve documents can be met in a number of ways. The acceptable ways in which a document can be served are listed in Parts 7 and 8 of the Fair Work Commissions Rules 2013.
An organisation in which one person is responsible for the business.
Abbreviation for work health and safety.
A body established by a state or territory government which regulates WHS laws in a particular state or territory. To find contact details for the regulator in your state or territory, go to the Enquiries page.
A person who gives evidence in relation to something they saw, heard or experienced. A witness is required to take oath or affirmation before giving evidence at a formal hearing. The witness will be examined by the party that called them and may be cross examined by the opposing party to test their evidence.
In relation to an anti-bullying application, the definition of a worker is drawn from the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. A worker can include:
Only people who are considered to be workers may apply for an order to stop bullying at work.
A place where a person performs work.
See bullying at work.
The Fair Work Commission is developing an evaluation methodology with the New Approaches User Group that will enable participants and the Commission to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the program and how its principles are applied by participants in the workplace.
The New Approaches program supports parties working together effectively in ways that prevent and minimise disputes and encourage collaboration through the provision of training and facilitation services. The range and timing of service provision is responsive to the needs and expectations of parties. The evaluation methodology will similarly recognise such differences of approach and scope.
The Commission has engaged the Social Research Centre to administer a participant survey that has been co-designed with members of the New Approaches User Group. The survey is part of a suite of resources that will enable participants to reflect on achievements, strengths, limitations, risks and opportunities to improve.
The participant survey is voluntary. It will provide valuable insights about attitudes, actions and outcomes and feedback on the services provided by the Commission.
A discussion paper prepared by the Commission's Evaluation & User Experience Research Section provides further information about the purpose and objectives of the program and the evaluation process.
The Social Research Centre will contact participants on behalf of the Commission and invite them to complete a survey via telephone or online.
For more information about the research and to provide feedback about the survey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome feedback and ideas at any time.
The Commission continues to invite feedback from parties immediately following the conduct of a conciliation conference. This feedback is provided using an online feedback form. A link to the feedback form is included in correspondence to parties from the conciliator after the session.
Participation is entirely voluntary and greatly appreciated. The Commission monitors the results of the feedback, including service performance measures and reports.
To provide feedback and ideas to the Commission directly, or to access a survey link to provide feedback anonymously, please email email@example.com.
The Commission engaged Wallis Social & Market Research to conduct a survey to invite feedback and ideas from unfair dismissal applicants, respondents and representatives.
Findings from the survey are being used to benchmark and monitor service performance and inform improved practices and resources.
The Commission initiated external user experience research to seek feedback from users about case management practices and ideas that could improve service delivery relating to enterprise agreements, including the timeliness of approvals and information materials.
The Commission wrote to Ai Group, ACCI and ACTU to invite their affiliates and members to participate in this important research. Following this, six workshops were held with a broad range of frequent and infrequent users. These workshops were supplemented by in-depth interviews and written contributions from users who were unable to attend a workshop.
The Commission has acted decisively on the feedback. We heard that parties were unsatisfied with timeliness and have taken measures to successfully address that. In fact, based on performance for agreements lodged and finalised in the last seven months, compliant and complete applications are being approved within a median of 17 days from lodgment. Similarly, all applications, simple and complex, lodged and finalised in that period have been approved in a median of 34 days from lodgment. Timeliness is projected to continually improve over the coming months.
Another important piece of feedback was the desire for more accessible education and information resources to assist in making compliant and complete applications. The best way of improving timeliness is for the Commission to be able to approve agreements that are complete and compliant at the time of lodgment. While it was recognised that the Commission has useful resources on its website, there are several recommendations about the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Commission working together to improve the advice and educative resources available to the public.
A detailed explanation about what the Commission has done in response to each of the recommendations to the research and the final report can be downloaded below.
The Commission has recently commenced consultations with users of the enterprise agreement system which have indicated that the changes appear to have improved service delivery. While this is pleasing, the Commission is committed to further improving service delivery.
The Commission recently launched the What’s Next plan to improve access and reduce complexity for tribunal users. As part of this broad focus, we engaged independent consultants to explore the experiences of unfair dismissal users.
The resulting Unfair dismissal user-experience research report identified several opportunities where we could enhance users’ experiences. One opportunity was refining the Commission’s unfair dismissal correspondence to be more user friendly.
In line with the report's recommendations, we have been working to improve our case management correspondence.
To help us find out if our improved documents meet their objectives (that is, that they are more readable and effective, and that their tone and emotional impact are improved) we engaged Pivot Management Consulting to critically test the refined documents with applicants and respondents of the unfair dismissal process.
The Commission engaged Cube Group to conduct unfair dismissal user-experience research with employers and employees throughout 2017.
The purpose of the research was to examine client experiences and explore ways to improve case management practices and information resources.
Findings from the research are being used in the design of the Commission’s new case management system and a range of other initiatives designed to improve services and information resources for self-represented and first time users who are unfamiliar with tribunal procedures.
A consolidated report of findings from the research is available to download:
Further research, including client service surveying and user-testing research will continue throughout 2018 to help identify further improvements to case management practices and information resources and to monitor the effectiveness of changes implemented.
The Commission is building a new case management system. The new system is designed to assist Australian employers and employees when applying and responding to applications made to the Commission by reducing administrative burden and delivering better access to quality and timely information.
The new system is being built in an iterative manner with users involved in all stages of design. During the first half of 2018, Commission staff invited employers, employees and representatives to join them in design workshops to help shape the system for future users.
Mr Bruce Billson, of Agile Advisory, has undertaken a program to generate ideas and feedback about how the Fair Work Commission can better meet the needs of small business.
Consultation meetings were held across the country to hear candid observations, practical insights and real-life experiences from small business employers and their representatives.
A report of consultation findings and recommendations is available to download: