Conciliation is a voluntary process to help an employer and employee resolve an unfair dismissal dispute. It is an informal method of resolving the unfair dismissal claim that is generally conducted by telephone and can avoid the need for a formal conference or hearing.
Because conciliations are generally conducted by telephone parties do not need to attend a Fair Work Commission office.
In a conciliation, each party can negotiate in an informal manner and explore the possibility of reaching an agreed settlement. In a conciliation any outcome is possible provided both parties agree to it. But in a hearing the outcomes are limited and strictly controlled by law.
Parties are under no obligation to reach a settlement.
Unrepresented parties are usually offered a 3-day cooling off period following conciliation to decide if they wish to opt out of any agreed settlement.