Follow the right process to try and resolve a dispute in your workplace.
On this page:
Before you meet
You should do some research before you meet the other party in a dispute.
Whether you are an employer or employee, you should know your rights and obligations in the Fair Work Act 2009.
Check the dispute resolution procedure
All awards and agreements must have a dispute resolution clause.
This clause should have a step-by-step guide to help you resolve a dispute.
If you can settle the dispute within the workplace, this will:
- save time
- reduce legal costs
- avoid the possible stress of a formal legal process.
Sometimes you will fail to resolve the dispute within your workplace. You may need to ask us for help. See Common issues we can help with.
How we can deal with disputes
We use different methods to help resolve different types of disputes.
An informal process. We work with all parties to figure out the best solution for everyone.
A semi-formal process. We talk to both parties and then hold discussions to help them agree on a solution.
A formal process, when the parties cannot agree on a solution. We ask the parties to present their evidence and arguments. We then decide what the solution should be.
Who can ask us for help
We help resolve disputes that happen in the national workplace relations system*.
Most, but not all, employers in Australia are national system employers. This means that most workers are national system employees.
Find out who is part of the national system.
The full definition is in section 14 of the Fair Work Act.