The Fair Work Commission takes its privacy obligations seriously.
The Commission collects, holds, uses and discloses personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).
The Commission collects and handles personal information in exercising its powers and performing its functions and activities, including in:
The Commission generally collects information directly from the individual concerned or their authorised representative. In some circumstances, the Commission may collect personal information from third parties, including where:
The Commission uses and discloses personal information for the primary purpose for which it was collected. For example, the Commission will usually disclose the personal information it collects from a party to a Commission matter to any other party (or their representative), for the purpose of dealing with the matter.
As the national workplace relations tribunal, Commission hearings are generally open to the public and, subject to limited exceptions, its decisions are published on its website. The Commission also publishes personal information on its website for the purposes of dealing with applications made to the Commission. For example, the Commission publishes hearings lists on its website which generally include the names of the parties, the type of application, and the time and date of hearings.
The Commission uses or discloses personal information for secondary purposes in circumstances permitted by the Privacy Act, such as where the individual has consented to this or the use or disclosure is required or authorised by or under an Australian law or court or tribunal order.
The Access to case file documents policy sets out when access may be granted to documents on a Commission case file.
This Policy is currently under review.
Access to documents on a case file is at the discretion of the Commission.
For closed files, an application under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) and its accompanying file (including any material in the Commission’s case management system) are generally available for inspection by the parties to the proceedings and the public.
Exceptions to this include:
These applications and the accompanying case file (including material in the Commission’s case management system) are not available for inspection, other than by a person who is a party named in the application (or their nominated representative).
In addition, access will not be granted to any documents that are:
In some instances, personal or other information may be redacted from documents before they are released.
For open files, access to documents on a case file is also subject to the consent of the presiding Member.
Where access to a case file or documents contained in the file is refused, a person may make an application to access the file or documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Further information about how the Commission handles requests under the FOI Act is available on the Freedom of Information page on the Commission's website.