In the Fair Work Commission context, a declaration is a written statement that has been signed by the person making the statement. A declaration does not need to be signed in the presence of a witness.
You can sign a declaration by hand or electronically, either by affixing your signature to the document electronically, or by typing your name in the box in the form beside the word ‘Signature’.
A statutory declaration is a written statement declared to be true in the presence of an authorised witness.
When you sign a statutory declaration, you are declaring that the statements in it are true.
Statutory declarations are used by many Commonwealth and State agencies. This guide deals only with the use of statutory declarations made under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth) in matters before the Fair Work Commission.
Before 1 May 2020, the Fair Work Commission Rules 2013 required statutory declarations to be used in a range of different matters. From 1 May 2020, the Rules instead require declarations to be used. Approved forms for making declarations required by the Rules are available on our Forms page.
Applications for work, health and safety entry permits must be accompanied by a statutory declaration (see Form F42B – Statutory declaration in support of an application for a WHS entry permit).
You may wish to provide witness statements in the form of a declaration or a statutory declaration in other types of matters.
In some cases, a Commission Member may require you to attend the Commission and confirm the contents of your declaration or statutory declaration under oath or affirmation.
A Commission Member may also call you to give sworn or affirmed evidence before the Commission about any matters of concern in your declaration or statutory declaration.
Giving false or misleading evidence to the Commission is a criminal offence under section 678 of the Fair Work Act 2009. The penalty for contravening this section is imprisonment for up to 12 months.
Giving false or misleading information to the Commission is a serious offence.
If you intentionally make a false statement in a declaration or statutory declaration, you could be charged with a criminal offence and, if convicted, you could be fined or jailed, or both.
Knowingly giving the Commission false or misleading information in a declaration or statutory declaration may contravene sections 136, 137.1 and 137.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. The penalty for contravening these sections is imprisonment for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $12,600 for an individual or $63,000 for a body corporate.
Additionally, under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, the penalty for intentionally making a false statement in a statutory declaration is imprisonment for up to 4 years.
The Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and the Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018 set out the requirements for Commonwealth statutory declarations.
In addition, a statutory declaration submitted to the Commission should include certain case information as specified under the Fair Work Commission Rules 2013 (Rule 18).
A form combining both the Commonwealth and Fair Work Commission requirements can be downloaded from this page.
Only certain people may witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration.
A list of people who can be witnesses is set out in the Statutory Declaration Regulations 2018 and at the end of the Commission's statutory declaration form (Word).
A witness to a statutory declaration should do the following:
It is also important for the witness to check that the statutory declaration does not contain any blanks and that all the information requested on the form is provided, including the name, address and occupation/qualification of the person making the declaration and the witness.