The Commission has a diverse group of clients and stakeholders as our work affects a large number of Australia’s employees and employers.

The Commission has jurisdiction over a national system which covers all employees of private businesses (with the exception of some businesses in Western Australia) and public sector and local government employment in some states and territories.

Our clients and stakeholders include:

  • employees and employers
  • unions and employer organisations
  • the public
  • legal practitioners, human resources professionals and other workplace relations advisors
  • federal, state, territory and local governments, and
  • international organisations.

Engagement strategy

The Commission recognises that the requirements of the community we serve are changing and evolving. We regularly consult with clients, stakeholders and the community to ensure the services we provide meet the demands of a modern workplace relations system.

The Commission has developed a broad engagement strategy in consultation with the major peak employer and union bodies. The Commission’s engagement strategy comprises a number of elements, including:

  • public engagement—including through our mock hearings, briefings and information sessions as well as the Workplace Relations Education Series
  • stakeholder engagement—including through our user groups such as the Legal Profession Reference Group and Employment Termination User Group
  • workplace engagement—further announcements regarding this will be made during the next reporting period
  • research community—including supporting academic projects and undertaking our own research such as the Australian Workplace Relations Study, and
  • international engagement—as detailed below.

While the Commission recognises the importance of engaging with all of our stakeholders, during the reporting period we implemented a range of targeted measures to improve engagement with the small business sector. For more information on these initiatives see In focus—Small Business Outreach.

International engagement

The Commission continues to engage with countries around the world who are interested in learning about Australia’s workplace relations system.

In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the Commission entered into with the International Labour Organization (ILO), two requests were received from the ILO for a Member of the Commission to provide training and technical assistance.

The Commission also hosted nine international delegations. In particular, the Commission’s activities included:

  • a visit by a delegation from the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore
  • a visit by a delegation from the Botswana Public Service Bargaining Council
  • a visit by a delegation from the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower, and
  • a proposed MOU with the Supreme Court of Indonesia.

These activities have been supported by funding from AusAid and the ILO.

In addition, the Commission hosted an informal reception for the 2014 Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand Conference on behalf of the President and the Sir Richard Kirby Archive Committee. More than 120 academics from around the world attended. The General Manager attended a meeting of international dispute resolution agencies in Dublin in July 2013.

The International Development Committee also continues to be invited to attend the International Labour Affairs Committee chaired by the Department of Employment on an ad hoc basis. The Committee met on 5 October 2013 and 5 March 2014.

Refer to Appendix A for additional international and national events participated in by Commission Members.