Under s.576(2)(aa) of the Fair Work Act 2009, the Fair Work Commission can assist employers, employees and their representatives to achieve cooperative and productive workplaces that facilitate change and foster innovation.
New Approaches complements the Commission’s existing functions relating to dispute resolution and bargaining by providing a formal process to assist parties to work together effectively.
The New Approaches program enables the Commission to work with parties to:
The Commission may provide assistance where one or more employer and employee parties at a workplace or business agree to the Commission’s involvement providing one or more of the following services:
One or more employer and employee parties at a workplace or business who agree to the Commission providing assistance can make an application using Form F79—Application for the Commission’s assistance to promote cooperative and productive workplaces and prevent disputes (Word).
All applications received will be assessed by the Commission in consultation with the parties to determine whether the application is appropriate to be opened as a New Approaches matter.
Parties can request the assistance of a specific Commission Member in their application form. Requests will be assessed and accommodated where possible.
If no Commission Member is specified in the application, a Commission Member will be allocated to the matter as part of the application assessment process.
For information on how the New Approaches program has assisted parties to date, please visit the New Approaches case studies page.
A New Approaches research reference list (PDF) is available and provides information for users seeking to further their understanding of the concepts that underpin the program, such as interest based bargaining and alternate dispute and conflict resolution techniques.
If parties would like to discuss the New Approaches process before agreeing to make an application, please contact the Commission at NewApproaches@fwc.gov.au.