Timeliness benchmarks

On 1 July 2012 the Commission introduced timeliness benchmarks for the delivery of reserved decisions, and for dealing with applications for the approval of agreements. The benchmarks apply to all hearings that commenced after 1 July 2012 and all applications to approve agreements received after this date.

The Commission introduced timeliness benchmarks for appeal matters in the second half of 2013. The benchmarks measure the length of time it takes to process an appeal from lodgment to first hearing, and to deliver reserved decisions. The benchmarks apply to all appeals lodged after 1 July 2013.

These benchmarks are intended to set tight performance standards and the Commission expects that there will be circumstances where it does not meet these high standards; however the Commission is committed to improving timeliness and publicly reporting on its performance.

Reserved decisions

In 2014–15 the Commission increased the total number of reserved decisions finalised by 26 per cent from 1444 decisions finalised in 2013–14 to 1819 in 2014–15. This was achieved while improving overall timeliness for the delivery of reserved decisions.

Reserved decisions benchmarks

  • 90 per cent of all reserved decisions are to be delivered within 8 weeks
  • 100 per cent of all reserved decisions are to be delivered within 12 weeks.

The measure begins from the final day of the last hearing or the date of receipt of the last written submission, whichever is later.

Figure 7 shows the Commission's performance against the reserved decisions benchmark.

The results achieved for July 2014 to June 2015 were:

  • 83.1 per cent of reserved decisions were delivered within 8 weeks
  • 93.7 per cent of reserved decisions were delivered within 12 weeks.

Figure 7: Performance – reserved decisions benchmarks

Figure 7 provides a visual representation of the statistics relating to the reserved decisions benchmarks outlined above.

Agreements

The benchmarks for agreement finalisation are:

  • 50 per cent of all agreements finalised within 3 weeks
  • 90 per cent of all agreements finalised within 8 weeks
  • 100 per cent of all agreements finalised within 12 weeks.

The measure is from lodgment to the date of the decision to approve (or not approve) the agreement. Agreement applications that are withdrawn or dismissed for another reason are not included.

Figure 8 shows performance against the benchmarks for agreement finalisation in 2014–15 as follows:

  • 49.6 per cent were finalised within 3 weeks
  • 90.5 per cent were finalised within 8 weeks
  • 97.1 per cent were finalised within 12 weeks.

Figure 8: Performance – agreements benchmarks

Figure 8 is a visual representation of the statistics relating to the agreements benchmarks outlined above.

Appeals

In 2013 the Commission expanded benchmarking to include appeal applications made under s.604 of the Fair Work Act. The benchmarks applied to applications made on or after 1 July 2013. Therefore, 2014–15 is the first year with a full year's data on the appeals benchmarks.

In this reporting period the Commission also introduced a Permission to Appeal Pilot, in which the threshold issue of whether permission to appeal is granted is dealt with before parties have to prepare materials for a hearing on the merits of the appeal.

Appeal lodgment to first hearing benchmarks

  • 90 per cent of all appeals listed within 12 weeks
  • 100 per cent of all appeals listed within 16 weeks.

The measure commences from the day the application is lodged and measures the time between lodgment and the first appeal hearing. Matters are included in the measurements after the appeal is decided.

The results achieved for July 2014 to June 2015 were:

  • 75.7 per cent of appeals were listed within 12 weeks
  • 92.7 per cent of appeals were listed within 16 weeks.

This is lower than the benchmarks met in 2013–14 and is a reflection of a greater number of finalised matters compared with the first year of reporting.

Figure 9: Performance – appeals – lodgment to first hearing benchmarks

Figure 9 is a visual representation of the appeal lodgment to first hearing benchmark statistics outlined above.

Appeal reserved decisions

  • 90 per cent of all appeal reserved decisions delivered within 8 weeks
  • 100 per cent of all appeal reserved decisions delivered within 12 weeks.

The measure commences from the final day of the hearing or the date of receipt of the last written submission, whichever is later.

The results achieved for July 2014 to June 2015 were:

  • 88.8 per cent of appeals were listed within 8 weeks
  • 97.1 per cent of appeals were listed within 12 weeks.

More reserved decisions were delivered in 2014–15 than in the previous year, with similar timeliness outcomes.

Figure 10: Appeals – reserved decisions benchmarks

Figure 10 is a visual representation of the appeal reserved decisions statistics outlined above.