Future Directions is a change program launched by the Commission to improve the performance and quality of the services it provides. It delivers initiatives under four key themes, including efficiency and innovation.

Phase one completed

Timeliness benchmarks for reserved decisions

The Commission continues to strive towards meeting its timeliness benchmarks for reserved decisions, including:

  • 90 per cent of all reserved decisions are to be delivered within eight weeks, and
  • 100 per cent of all reserved decisions are to be delivered within 12 weeks.

Timeliness benchmarks for finalising applications to approve agreements

The Commission aims to meet its timeliness benchmarks for the approval of enterprise agreements, including:

  • 50 per cent of all applications to be finalised within three weeks
  • 90 per cent of all applications to be finalised within eight weeks, and
  • 100 per cent of all applications to be finalised within 12 weeks.

Online applications

During the reporting period the Commission developed a tool to enable all applications to be made online, via the Commission’s website. This has resulted in greater convenience for applicants.

Daily hearings lists for smartphones and tablets

The Commission developed a searchable hearings list application which was suitable for all smart phones and tablets, and users to view and search hearing lists up to seven days in advance of a hearing. The technology used has been incorporated in the Commission’s new website, which is device responsive.

SMS alerts for hearings and conferences

The Commission completed a trial of sending SMS alerts to participants in unfair dismissal conciliations in order to determine whether they increase the attendance rate of parties involved in the proceedings. Due to the success of the trial, further uses of SMS alerts has been included as an initiative in the second phase of Future Directions.

Matter allocation trial

The Commission piloted the regional allocation of some types of applications to improve service delivery.

Upgrade of video conferencing facilities

Video conferencing systems have been upgraded in all Commission offices, improving the quality and frequency with which these resources can be used.

Appeals Practice Note

In May 2013 the Commission introduced an Appeals Practice Note which incorporates standard directions for appeals, promoting a consistent approach to appeal proceedings.

Phase two commenced

First paperless annual wage review

In 2014 we will begin preparation for conducting the Commission’s first paperless annual wage review in 2015.

WiFi access

All visitors to Commission premises now have WiFi access, including in hearing rooms. Accessing information via WiFi reduces the need to bring printed material into Commission offices and enables on the spot research as required. The Commission is working to develop information materials to assist the general public in relation to WiFi use.

SMS alerts

Following the successful pilot program for unfair dismissal conciliation conferences, in 2014 and 2015 the Commission will explore further uses of SMS alerts for Commission matters.

Efficiency

The Commission will examine ways in which Commission staff can work more efficiently, such as introducing a facility enabling lodgment of multiple related applications as a single bulk lodgment and by examining the cost-effectiveness of ‘smart forms’ for our most popular forms.

Electronic case management system

In 2014 and 2015 the Commission will improve its electronic case management system which will significantly reduce costs for parties and for the Commission, assist in improving processing times and enhance access to information.

Review processes for approval of enterprise agreements

The Commission is reviewing the processes for determining applications for the approval of enterprise agreements to ensure the most timely and efficient resolution of these matters.