Most sexual harassment cases follow a similar process. The steps on this page set out the usual process we follow for this type of case. We look at the facts of each case, so sometimes the process changes.
We aim to discuss the case with everyone involved within 2 weeks of receiving the application.
We aim to resolve most cases within 16 weeks of receiving the application.
Before you apply, consider what you can do if you’ve been sexually harassed in connection with work.
Help with the process
We can give you information to help you know what usually happens at each step, and how long it might take. You can contact us if you have questions.
We can give you information about our processes, but we can't give you legal advice. You don’t need a lawyer to come to the Fair Work Commission, but you can think about getting legal help before you do.
Legal help may be available for employers and employees, including free legal advice for eligible people and small businesses. You can choose to ask a lawyer or agent for help, or you can represent yourself.
Learn about workplace sexual harassment through our Online Learning Portal.
Before 6 March 2023
The law changed on 6 March 2023. This means that the process is different if the sexual harassment happened or started before then.
In these cases, if you are eligible you can Apply for an order to stop sexual harassment that started before 6 March 2023 (Form F72A).
When we receive your application we will contact you and explain the process and the next steps.
For steps 1 to 4 you can follow the information provided above, and read the notes about what is different at each step. After that:
- Some cases go to conciliation with a staff member
- Some cases go straight to a Commission Member, or are sent to the Member if they are not resolved at conciliation. The Member will decide the best process for dealing with the case. This could include conciliation, a conference or a formal hearing. We will tell you which process we will follow in your case.
If the matter is not resolved by conciliation the next steps will usually be:
- A conference or hearing will be held with a Commission Member. They will decide what to do with the case, including whether or not to make a stop sexual harassment order. You can prepare by reading all the documents in the case. Make sure you bring them with you to the conference or hearing. If you are going to a hearing, ask your witnesses to go to the hearing too.
- The Commission Member may make a decision about the outcome and send it to you. This resolves the case.