Australia’s national workplace relations system, the Fair Work system, started on 1 July 2009 and was created by the Fair Work Act 2009. It covers the majority of workplaces in Australia.
The main organisations that make up Australia’s Fair Work system are:
The Fair Work Commission can:
The Fair Work Ombudsman can:
The Australian Building and Construction Commission is responsible for ensuring that building work is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively in the building and construction industry.
The Federal Court of Australia has jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters arising in the Fair Work jurisdiction.
An application for unfair dismissal, termination of employment or contravention of a general protection is first conciliated at the Fair Work Commission. If it’s not settled there, the applicant can then apply to start proceedings in the Federal Court or the Fair Work Division of the Federal Circuit Court (see below).
The Fair Work Division of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia provides a simpler alternative to employment litigation in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. It aims to operate informally, and uses streamlined procedures to deal with matters promptly and efficiently.
Employers and employees in the national system all have the same workplace rights and obligations, regardless of which state they work in.