Conferences are the first step in resolving general protections dismissal disputes. At the conference, a staff conciliator guides a discussion between the parties. It is a confidential process.
Conference is the first step
A conference is the first step in the general protections dismissal process. We organise a date and time for the conference as soon as possible after we receive the application.
We send the date and time to both parties. Unless you ask us to change it, and we agree, you must take part. We will only change the date and time if you have an important reason why you cannot take part.
If you want to delay or change the conference, you must ask us for an adjournment*.
What happens at the conference
At a general protections dismissal conference a staff conciliator guides a discussion between the parties. The conference is usually held via phone.
Conciliators do not give legal advice, decide what happened or who is right or wrong. Read more about the role of a conciliator.
The conference is less formal than a hearing. The conciliator will work with both parties to resolve the issue. It will usually take up to 2 hours. You don’t need to prepare evidence or submissions.
When you resolve the dispute at the conference, we do not publish anything about the outcome of the dispute on the website. If you cannot resolve the case, a Member of the Commission will decide whether to issue the applicant with a certificate. The applicant can then decide whether to apply to a federal court about the same dispute.
If an employer raises a valid objection, they can ask a Commission Member to decide the objection first. If a Member agrees to this, they will schedule a jurisdictional hearing to decide the objection. This will usually occur before the conference.
If the Member decides the objection is valid, the case will be dismissed. If the Member decides there is no valid objection, a conference will be scheduled with a staff conciliator.
See Object to a general protections dismissal claim for more information.