See Fair Work Act 2009 s.590 and s.591
Section 590 of the Fair Work Act provides the ways in which the Fair Work Commission may inform itself including:
- requiring a person to attend the Commission
- requiring written and oral submissions
- requiring a person to provide copies of documents
- taking evidence under oath or affirmation
- by conducting inquiries or undertaking research, or
- by holding a conference or a hearing.
Section 591 of the Fair Work Act states that the Commission is not bound by the rules of evidence and procedure (whether or not the Commission holds a hearing).
Although the Commission is not bound by the rules of evidence, they are relevant and cannot be ignored to the extent that it causes unfairness between the parties.
Commission members are expected to act judicially and in accordance with 'notions of procedural fairness and impartiality'.
Commission members are ultimately expected to get to the heart of the matter as quickly and effectively as possible, without unnecessary technicality or formality.
The rules of evidence 'provide general guidance as to the manner in which the Commission chooses to inform itself'.