The date we receive a document, not the date you post, email or fax it to us, must be before the deadline. This means we accept documents no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline. We may not accept late applications.
Deadline to receive documents
Send documents electronically
We encourage you to send documents by email. For agreement applications you can use our online form. This is quicker and you can send at any time before the deadline.
When you post an application or document, it must arrive at the Commission by the deadline.
We do not accept delays by Australia Post or other mail and courier services as a reason for missing the deadline.
The date you send an application by fax must be no later than the deadline.
What to do if the deadline is near
If you are worried you will miss the deadline because you are waiting for information, you can:
Dismissals: apply within 21 days
The 21-day timeline is for the following applications:
General protections dismissal
We must receive an unlawful termination application within 21 days after your employment was terminated.
We must receive applications about unfair dismissal or general protections dismissal within 21 days after the dismissal took effect.
Usually, the dismissal took effect on the last day you had a contract of employment with your employer. This may be later than the last day you were at work.
On 7 June, Ray’s employer says he will end Ray’s contract on 30 June.
Ray is on leave from 24 to 30 June. The last day he works for his employer is 23 June but the day the dismissal took effect is 30 June.
We must receive Ray’s application by 11.59pm on 21 July.
If the last day of the 21-day limit is a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday, we change the deadline to the next business day. We do not extend the deadline because of weekends or public holidays during the 21 days.
21-day time limit in unfair dismissal cases
This animation explains the 21-day time limit in unfair dismissal cases. Remember, the clock starts on the day after the dismissal takes effect. Public holidays and weekends count towards the time limit. However, if the 21st day falls on a weekend or public holiday, you may lodge the following business day. See unfair dismissal for more information.
Late applications for dismissal (‘out of time’)
When we receive a dismissal application after the deadline, it is ‘out of time’. This means you need to tell us why you missed the deadline.
We may extend the deadline if ‘exceptional circumstances’ caused the delay. Examples of exceptional circumstances are:
the death of a family member
a delay or error by a lawyer or paid agent.
A Commission Member will decide if you have an ‘exceptional’ reason. They will take into account:
the reason why you applied late
whether you became aware of your dismissal only after it had taken effect
what you did to show you disagree with the dismissal
any prejudice to your employer (including prejudice caused by the delay)
the facts in your application
the fairness of giving you longer to apply, compared with other people in a similar situation.
We do not accept late applications when the reason is:
a post or courier service caused the delay
you did not know about the deadline.
Late applications in unfair dismissal cases
This animation explains that late applications are generally not accepted. We consider these applications 'out of time'. People can ask for an extension of time. However, a Commission Member will only grant an extension of time in exceptional circumstances. Employers or respondents to the case can also raise an objection. See unfair dismissal for more information.
Responses: reply within 7 days
When we contact you about a case, we will tell you when you need to respond or to send (serve) documents to other people.
For some applications, the response is optional but if you choose to respond, the deadline is 7 days. If we receive your response after this time limit, we may not consider it when we decide on the case.
Enterprise agreements timeline
The process to make or change an enterprise agreement has a specific timeline. If the steps in the process do not meet the deadline, you may have to start again.
Use our date calculator tool to work out when you need to take each step.