To ask for permission to appeal, submit the Notice of appeal. You must submit an appeal book and other material within the deadline.
The Fair Work Act (the Act) gives parties the right to appeal a decision by the Fair Work Commission. Different parts of the Act apply to different types of appeal.
The right to appeal is not automatic. The Act contains information about the right to appeal.
The appeals process helps to:
- make sure decisions are consistent
- make sure decisions meet the requirements of the Act
- allow us to test cases that may be controversial.
Help with the appeals process
We can help you understand how to lodge an appeal. We cannot give you legal advice, such as whether you should appeal. If you need legal advice, see Where to find legal help.
How to apply
The person who appeals is the applicant or ‘appellant’. See The appeals process to understand what happens at each step. If you are the applicant, you need to:
1. Write your application using Form F7 – Notice of appeal.
2. Decide if you want to request a ‘stay’ on the original decision.
3. Submit your application to us within 21 days of the decision.
4. Create an appeal book, and submit it with your application or within 7 days.
5. Prepare and submit an ‘outline of submissions’.
Deadline to appeal
You must submit (‘lodge’) the application within 21 days of the date on the decision or order that you are appealing.
If you miss this deadline
If your application is late, you must complete section 5 on the application form – ‘Extension of time’. You need to tell us the reason we should agree to extend the deadline. We do not always agree to requests for more time. We look at:
- the reason for the delay
- the length of the delay
- the grounds of the appeal and how likely it is to succeed if the Commission extends the time
- any negative impact a delay would have on the respondent.
When we grant permission to appeal
When we receive an application to appeal, we decide whether to give (‘grant’) permission. This does not mean we approve the appeal, only that we agree to hear the appeal.
The Appeal Bench considers whether the appeal is ‘in the public interest’. ‘Public interest’ means the benefit is for the whole community, not for an individual.
If we believe the appeal is in the public interest, we must grant permission.
Special rules apply to unfair dismissal and general protections appeals. We must not give a party permission to appeal unless it is in the public interest. You may only appeal if you believe there was a major error in the facts of the original decision.
In other cases, we may choose to grant permission. Examples where the Bench may grant permission to appeal:
- the original decision is not consistent with similar cases
- there are enough doubts about the decision to consider it again
- the Commission did not have the power to make a decision on the original case.