Fair Work Commission Members are the people who deal with most cases. We decide who will deal with each case based on where they are and what the case is about.
There are 3 types of Members of the Fair Work Commission:
- Primary Commission Members including the President, Vice Presidents, Deputy Presidents and Commissioners who are appointed until the age of 65 and are full-time or part-time
- Expert Panel Members who are appointed for a set period of not more than 5 years and are part-time
- Members of state industrial tribunals who also hold an appointment with the Commission.
The head of the Commission is known as the President. The current president is a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and also carries the title 'Justice'.
Commission Members are involved in the broad range of Commission work.
Expert Panel Members are only involved in specific functions. There is currently one Expert Panel, which is responsible for the Commission’s annual wage review functions.
How Commission Members are appointed
Commission Members are appointed by the Governor-General of Australia on the recommendation of the Australian Government of the day.
Current Commission Members come from a diverse range of employment backgrounds including the law, unions and employer associations, human resources and management, and the public service.
What qualifications are required for appointment
The Fair Work Act 2009 requires that those appointed to the Commission have appropriate knowledge or experience in relevant fields such as workplace relations, law, business, industry or commerce.
Expert Panel Members must have knowledge or experience in one or more fields specific to the annual wage review panel (that is: workplace relations, economics, social policy, or business, industry or commerce).
Case allocation system
Generally, the work of the Commission is administered through regional allocations and a national practice area system overseen by the President.
There are 2 geographical regions for allocation of cases, and the allocation of work for each region is managed by a Regional Coordinator.
National practice groups deal with particular types of cases, including unfair dismissals, anti-bullying cases and other case types. The administration of these areas is managed by a National Practice Leader.
Cases will be allocated to Commission Members based on location. Although cases requiring specialist knowledge of an industry or case type may be allocated to a Member with relevant knowledge.