Appendix F: Methodology for Figure 6 – number of Commission sittings, various

Number of Commission sittings, various

The following summarises the methods used to analyse the sittings of the Commission between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2015 (Figure 6 – Commission sittings for various types of applications, 2009–10 to 2014–15).

Sittings refer to conferences and hearing room usage for hearings, directions and mentions. The majority of sittings are conducted by Members of the Commission. However, a small number of sittings overseen by conciliators are included in the analysis (these are limited to unfair dismissal dispute resolution proceedings that require the Commission's videolink facilities). Unfair dismissal conciliations that take place by phone are not included in the count of sittings.

Table F1 provides an overview of the number of hearings, conferences and other sittings required to process the four matter types shown in Figure 6: agreements, legislated reviews, matters related to industrial action, and unfair dismissal matters.2

Table F1: Number of sittings by matter type, 2009–10 to 2014–15
Matter type 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 Total
Agreements 1655 935 966 886 756 639 5837
Legislated reviews 586 19 2691 1962 349 1507 7114
Industrial action 1343 993 988 655 595 475 5049
Unfair dismissal 1668 2288 2391 2432 2779 2817 14,375

Notes: The spike in legislated reviews in the 2011–12 financial year can be attributed to the large number of listings that year for the variation and termination of certain transitional instruments to take account of Part 10A award modernisation process pursuant to Schedule 5, Item 3 of the Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009. In 2012–13, the number of listings under this provision had dropped to zero.

  1. A quantitative profile of the Commission's listings requires a calculation of all sitting dates across all locations. For example, the annual wage review is listed for decision at the Commission's offices in Melbourne. However, the decision may also be listed for decision via videolink at other locations across Australia. In these circumstances, the number of sitting dates includes a count for both the Melbourne hearing and the hearings at each videolink location.

Source: Fair Work Commission, Case Management System Plus (CMS plus), unpublished data.

Table F2 shows the types of matters that are included under the four case load categories.

Table F2: Types of matters included in each case load category
Matter type Legislation
Agreements  
Application for approval of a greenfields agreement s.185 Fair Work Act
Application for approval of a single-enterprise agreement s.185 Fair Work Act
Application for approval of a variation of an enterprise agreement s.210 Fair Work Act
Application to vary an agreement to remove an ambiguity or uncertainty s.217 Fair Work Act
Application to deal with a dispute about variations s.217A Fair Work Act
Application for approval of a termination of an enterprise agreement s.222 Fair Work Act
Application for termination of an enterprise agreement after its nominal expiry date s.225 Fair Work Act
Application by agreement to terminate collective agreement-based transitional instrument Sched. 3, Item 15 Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009
Application to terminate collective agreement-based transitional instrument Sched. 3, Item 16 Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009
Application by agreement to terminate individual agreement-based transitional instrument Sched. 3, Item 17 Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009
Legislated reviews  
Review of modern awards to give effect to s.149A provisions regarding superannuation contributions for defined benefit members (2013 review) s.149A Fair Work Act
4 yearly review of modern awards s.156 Fair Work Act
4 yearly review of default fund terms s.156A Fair Work Act
Annual wage review s.285 Fair Work Act
Variation and termination of certain transitional instruments etc. to take account of Part10A award modern process Sched. 5, Item 3 Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009
Review of all modern awards (other than modern enterprise and State PS awards) after first 2 years (Transitional review) Sched. 5, Item 6 Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009
FWC must make or vary state reference public sector modern awards at the end of the application period Sched. 6A, Item 6 Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009
Award modernisation s.576E Workplace Relations Act
Award modernisation s.576H Workplace Relations Act
Industrial action  
Application for an order that industrial action by employees or employers stop etc. s.418 Fair Work Act
Application for an order that industrial action by non-national system employees or employers stop etc s.419 Fair Work Act
Application to suspend or terminate protected industrial action – significant economic harm etc s.423 Fair Work Act
Notice of initiation of bargaining period s.423(3) Fair Work Act
Application to suspend or terminate protected industrial action – endangering life etc. s.424 Fair Work Act
Application to suspend protected industrial action, cooling off s.425 Fair Work Act
Application to suspend protected industrial action, significant harm to a third party s.426 Fair Work Act
Application for a protected action ballot order s.437 Fair Work Act
Application for variation of protected action ballot order s.447 Fair Work Act
Application for variation of protected action ballot order s.448 Fair Work Act
Report about conduct of protected action ballot s.458 Fair Work Act
Application to extend the 30-day period in which industrial action is authorised by protected action ballot s.459 Fair Work Act
Application for an order relating to certain partial work bans s.472 Fair Work Act
Application for an order relating to certain partial work bans s.496(1) Fair Work Act
Unfair dismissal  
Application for unfair dismissal remedy s.394 Fair Work Act