To end proceedings or to suspend them to another time or place.
To request that a decision of a single member of the Commission be reviewed by a Full Bench to determine if the decision made is consistent with the Fair Work Act 2009. An appeal can only be made on the grounds that an error of law or fact has been made. A person must seek the permission of the Commission to lodge an appeal by lodging a Form F7—Notice of Appeal.
Bullying at work, as defined by the Fair Work Act 2009, occurs when:
Bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.
A formal procedure outlining the processes used, including disciplinary measures, to resolve bullying in the workplace. A policy would normally include definitions of bullying, a worker's responsibility in relation to bullying and the step by step process that should be adopted when bullying is reported.
A set of rules and responsibilities that govern an organisation. A code of conduct generally sets out appropriate and inappropriate behaviour of employees within an organisation.
Abbreviation for Fair Work Commission.
Refers to the Commonwealth government or an Australian territory.
A private proceeding conducted by a Fair Work Commission Member.
A constitutionally covered business is:
It does not include sole traders, partnerships, some state government employees, corporations whose main activity is not trading or financial.
A judgment or conclusion reached after considering the facts and law. A decision in relation to a matter before the Commission can include the names of the parties and will generally outline the basis for the application, comment on the evidence provided and include the judgment of the Commission in relation to the matter. A decision can be made by a single member or a Full Bench of the Commission. It is legally enforceable.
Instructions given to the parties by the Commission that set out a timetable in accordance with which they must file in the Commission and serve on each other an outline of submissions, witness statements and any supporting documents.
Information which tends to prove or disprove the existence of particular belief, fact or proposition. Certain evidence may or may not be accepted by the Commission, however the Commission is not bound the normal rules of evidence. Evidence is usually contained within or attached to a witness statement or provided verbally by a witness in a hearing.
The principal Commonwealth law governing Australia's workplace relations system. Go to the Fair Work Act 2009.
Australia's independent, national workplace relations tribunal, established under the Fair Work Act 2009, from July 2009 to December 2012. Fair Work Australia assumed the functions of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and the Australian Fair Pay Commission and the agreement-making function of the Workplace Authority. Fair Work Australia was renamed the Fair Work Commission on 1 January 2013.
A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission is convened by the Fair Work Commission President and comprises at least three Fair Work Commission Members, one of whom must be a Deputy President. Full Benches are convened to hear appeals, matters of significant national interest and various other matters specifically provided for in the Fair Work Act 2009.
Unwanted and offensive conduct or behaviour by a person or persons directed towards another person based on an attribute such as a person’s age, gender, race, religion or a disability. Harassment can be physical or psychological.
A public proceeding conducted by a Fair Work Commission Member. A hearing is generally more formal than a conference, and may be held if the matter can't be resolved at mediation, conciliation or conference.
The scope of the Commission’s power and what the Commission can and cannot do. The power of the Commission to deal with matters is contained in legislation. The Commission can only deal with matters for which it has been given power by the Commonwealth Parliament.
An objection to an application on the basis that the Fair Work Commission does not have jurisdiction to deal with the matter. A jurisdictional objection is not simply that the respondent thinks the applicant's case has no merit.
A case or legal proceeding before the Commission.
An informal, confidential and voluntary process. It is one of the processes used by the Commission to facilitate the resolution of a grievance or a dispute between parties by helping them reach an agreement.
A person appointed by the Governor-General to decide matters at the Commission. A Member may be the President, a Vice President, a Deputy President or a Commissioner.
An entity that is not a constitutional corporation. The following are not constitutional corporations:
An order is a ruling made by a Fair Work Commission Member after he or she hears your case. Once an order has been made, anyone bound by that order must follow it.
The end result of an application made to the Commission.
A written document that clearly sets out the key elements of a case. All facts, information and evidence that you wish to bring to the attention of the Commission should be included in your outline of submissions.
An organisation in which two or more persons carry on a business together and it is not a constitutional corporation as defined.
A person or organisation involved in a matter before the Commission. A party is generally known as either an applicant or a respondent.
A person or business that has entered into a contract for services with an independent contractor.
A business owned and operated by private individuals for profit, instead of by a government or its agencies.
When persons are treated equally or fairly before the law (also known as due process). For example, procedural fairness occurs when both parties to a dispute have an opportunity to be heard or to defend themselves.
A proprietary limited company. A constitutionally covered business.
In relation to an anti-bullying application, reasonable management action is the action or behaviour of management that is considered to be carried out in a reasonable manner. Reasonable management action does not constitute workplace bullying.
Reasonable management action may include:
In each of these examples, if they are not carried out in a reasonable manner, then they could still be considered bullying.
A requirement to send a copy of a document (and all supporting documents) to another party or their representative, usually within a specified period. A person’s obligation to serve documents can be met in a number of ways. The acceptable ways in which a document can be served are listed in Parts 7 and 8 of the Fair Work Commissions Rules 2013.
An organisation in which one person is responsible for the business.
Abbreviation for work health and safety.
A body established by a state or territory government which regulates WHS laws in a particular state or territory. To find contact details for the regulator in your state or territory, go to the Enquiries page.
A person who gives evidence in relation to something they saw, heard or experienced. A witness is required to take oath or affirmation before giving evidence at a formal hearing. The witness will be examined by the party that called them and may be cross examined by the opposing party to test their evidence.
In relation to an anti-bullying application, the definition of a worker is drawn from the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. A worker can include:
Only people who are considered to be workers may apply for an order to stop bullying at work.
A place where a person performs work.
See bullying at work.
See Fair Work Act s.789FF(1)(b)(ii)
For the Fair Work Commission to be able to make orders to stop bullying, it must be satisfied not only that a worker has been bullied at work by an individual or a group of individuals, but also that there is a risk that the worker will continue to be bullied at work by that individual or group of individuals.
It is not sufficient to satisfy the second condition in s.789FF(1)(b)(ii) by demonstrating that there is a risk of being bullied at work by individuals other than those who have been found to have engaged in bullying pursuant to s.789FF(1)(b)(i).
Applying the dictionary definition, risk means exposure to the hazard or chance of continued bullying. Relevant considerations will be whether the worker is still working with the individual or group of individuals, and action that may have been taken by the PCBU or a work health and safety regulator to deal with the behaviour.
If an employee is dismissed after making an application, and before the matter is dealt with by the Commission, then there would not usually be a risk that the employee will continue to be bullied at work. If there is no such risk, the Commission has no power to make the order sought by the applicant, and accordingly the application has no reasonable prospect of success and must be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
For an order to be made, the Commission must be satisfied that there is a risk that the (applicant) worker will continue to be bullied at work by the individual or group (found to have bullied the applicant). Where an applicant will no longer be at work with the relevant individual or group, and there is no reasonable prospect of that occurring in some capacity as a worker in the future, then in almost all cases it will not be possible for an applicant to demonstrate that there will be a future risk that they will be bullied at work.
However, the Commission has held that it will not always be appropriate to dismiss an application where a worker has been terminated from their employment. The decision to dismiss an application on this basis requires a consideration of the particular circumstances of the parties, including whether or not an individual will return to a workplace in some capacity as a worker. It may be appropriate for the Commission to consider holding an application in abeyance where there is an apparently related dismissal that is being actively contested. This is ultimately a matter of judgement in the particular circumstances of each case.
If a dismissed employee is re-employed by the same employer at some future point, and the employee is concerned about the risk of further bullying, there is nothing to preclude the employee making another application under s.789FC subject to the jurisdictional facts being established in relation to that application. Allegations of past bullying can be relied upon in support of such a new application.
If a person conducting a business or undertaking introduces changes in the workplace to specifically address the issues around the alleged bullying behaviour, such changes may impact on the risk that the worker will continue to be bullied at work and the Commission may take this into consideration when considering whether to make an order.
These changes could include:
 Mekuria v MECCA Brands Pty Ltd t/a Mecca Cosmetica and Others  FWCFB 2771 (Hatcher VP, Sams DP, Hampton C, 26 April 2019) at para. 29.
 Fair Work Act s.587; Shaw v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited t/a ANZ Bank  FWC 3408 (Gostencnik DP, 26 May 2014) at para. 16; Re Mr M T  FWC 3852 (Johns C, 23 June 2014) at paras 22–23; Re Ms Brenton  FWC 4166 (Cloghan C, 24 June 2014) at paras 9–10.
 Atkinson v Killarney Properties Pty Ltd T/A Perm-A-Pleat Schoolwear and Adrian Palm; Atkinson v Killarney Properties Pty Ltd T/A Perm-A-Pleat Schoolwear and Michael Palm  FWCFB 6503 (Acton SDP, Gooley DP, Roe C, 14 October 2015) at para. 35; see also Dr Ng  FWC 3055 (Hampton C, 11 June 2019) at para.32.
 Obatoki v Mallee Track Health & Community Services and Others  FWC 8828 (Kovacic DP, 5 December 2014) at para. 21; re-affirmed on appeal  FWCFB 1661 (Catanzariti VP, Smith DP, Blair C, 27 March 2015) at para. 17.
 Dr Ravi v Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute Holdings Limited T/A Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Another  FWC 7507 (Gostencnik DP, 28 October 2014) at para. 14.