To end proceedings or to suspend them to another time or place.
To request that a decision of a single member of the Commission be reviewed by a Full Bench to determine if the decision made is consistent with the Fair Work Act 2009. An appeal can only be made on the grounds that an error of law or fact has been made. A person must seek the permission of the Commission to lodge an appeal by lodging a Form F7—Notice of Appeal.
Bullying at work, as defined by the Fair Work Act 2009, occurs when:
Bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.
A formal procedure outlining the processes used, including disciplinary measures, to resolve bullying in the workplace. A policy would normally include definitions of bullying, a worker's responsibility in relation to bullying and the step by step process that should be adopted when bullying is reported.
A set of rules and responsibilities that govern an organisation. A code of conduct generally sets out appropriate and inappropriate behaviour of employees within an organisation.
Abbreviation for Fair Work Commission.
Refers to the Commonwealth government or an Australian territory.
A private proceeding conducted by a Fair Work Commission Member.
A constitutionally covered business is:
It does not include sole traders, partnerships, some state government employees, corporations whose main activity is not trading or financial.
A judgment or conclusion reached after considering the facts and law. A decision in relation to a matter before the Commission can include the names of the parties and will generally outline the basis for the application, comment on the evidence provided and include the judgment of the Commission in relation to the matter. A decision can be made by a single member or a Full Bench of the Commission. It is legally enforceable.
Instructions given to the parties by the Commission that set out a timetable in accordance with which they must file in the Commission and serve on each other an outline of submissions, witness statements and any supporting documents.
Information which tends to prove or disprove the existence of particular belief, fact or proposition. Certain evidence may or may not be accepted by the Commission, however the Commission is not bound the normal rules of evidence. Evidence is usually contained within or attached to a witness statement or provided verbally by a witness in a hearing.
The principal Commonwealth law governing Australia's workplace relations system. Go to the Fair Work Act 2009.
Australia's independent, national workplace relations tribunal, established under the Fair Work Act 2009, from July 2009 to December 2012. Fair Work Australia assumed the functions of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and the Australian Fair Pay Commission and the agreement-making function of the Workplace Authority. Fair Work Australia was renamed the Fair Work Commission on 1 January 2013.
A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission is convened by the Fair Work Commission President and comprises at least three Fair Work Commission Members, one of whom must be a Deputy President. Full Benches are convened to hear appeals, matters of significant national interest and various other matters specifically provided for in the Fair Work Act 2009.
Unwanted and offensive conduct or behaviour by a person or persons directed towards another person based on an attribute such as a person’s age, gender, race, religion or a disability. Harassment can be physical or psychological.
A public proceeding conducted by a Fair Work Commission Member. A hearing is generally more formal than a conference, and may be held if the matter can't be resolved at mediation, conciliation or conference.
The scope of the Commission’s power and what the Commission can and cannot do. The power of the Commission to deal with matters is contained in legislation. The Commission can only deal with matters for which it has been given power by the Commonwealth Parliament.
An objection to an application on the basis that the Fair Work Commission does not have jurisdiction to deal with the matter. A jurisdictional objection is not simply that the respondent thinks the applicant's case has no merit.
A case or legal proceeding before the Commission.
An informal, confidential and voluntary process. It is one of the processes used by the Commission to facilitate the resolution of a grievance or a dispute between parties by helping them reach an agreement.
A person appointed by the Governor-General to decide matters at the Commission. A Member may be the President, a Vice President, a Deputy President or a Commissioner.
An entity that is not a constitutional corporation. The following are not constitutional corporations:
An order is a ruling made by a Fair Work Commission Member after he or she hears your case. Once an order has been made, anyone bound by that order must follow it.
The end result of an application made to the Commission.
A written document that clearly sets out the key elements of a case. All facts, information and evidence that you wish to bring to the attention of the Commission should be included in your outline of submissions.
An organisation in which two or more persons carry on a business together and it is not a constitutional corporation as defined.
A person or organisation involved in a matter before the Commission. A party is generally known as either an applicant or a respondent.
A person or business that has entered into a contract for services with an independent contractor.
A business owned and operated by private individuals for profit, instead of by a government or its agencies.
When persons are treated equally or fairly before the law (also known as due process). For example, procedural fairness occurs when both parties to a dispute have an opportunity to be heard or to defend themselves.
A proprietary limited company. A constitutionally covered business.
In relation to an anti-bullying application, reasonable management action is the action or behaviour of management that is considered to be carried out in a reasonable manner. Reasonable management action does not constitute workplace bullying.
Reasonable management action may include:
In each of these examples, if they are not carried out in a reasonable manner, then they could still be considered bullying.
A requirement to send a copy of a document (and all supporting documents) to another party or their representative, usually within a specified period. A person’s obligation to serve documents can be met in a number of ways. The acceptable ways in which a document can be served are listed in Parts 7 and 8 of the Fair Work Commissions Rules 2013.
An organisation in which one person is responsible for the business.
Abbreviation for work health and safety.
A body established by a state or territory government which regulates WHS laws in a particular state or territory. To find contact details for the regulator in your state or territory, go to the Enquiries page.
A person who gives evidence in relation to something they saw, heard or experienced. A witness is required to take oath or affirmation before giving evidence at a formal hearing. The witness will be examined by the party that called them and may be cross examined by the opposing party to test their evidence.
In relation to an anti-bullying application, the definition of a worker is drawn from the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. A worker can include:
Only people who are considered to be workers may apply for an order to stop bullying at work.
A place where a person performs work.
See bullying at work.
In this Practice Note:
Act means the Fair Work Act 2009
appellant means the person instituting the appeal
Commission means the Fair Work Commission
respondent means the other party to the original proceedings from which the appeal is brought
Rules means the Fair Work Commission Rules 2013.
See Tweed Valley Fruit Processors Pty Ltd v Ross and Others (1996) 137 ALR 70; Australian Postal Corporation v Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia  FWAFB 599 and Australian Industry Group and Pacific Brands Limited t/a Dunlop Foams  FWAFB 4337.
Division 3 – Conduct of matters before the FWC
Subdivision E – Appeals, reviews and referring questions of law
604 Appeal of decisions
(1) A person who is aggrieved by a decision:
(a) made by the FWC (other than a decision of a Full Bench or the Minimum Wage Panel); or
(b) made by the General Manager (including a delegate of the General Manager) under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009;
may appeal the decision, with the permission of the FWC.
(2) Without limiting when the FWC may grant permission, the FWC must grant permission if the FWC is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so.
Note: Subsection (2) does not apply in relation to an application for an unfair dismissal (see section 400).
(3) A person may appeal the decision by applying to the FWC.
Division 5 – Procedural matters
400 Appeal rights
(1) Despite subsection 604(2), the FWC must not grant permission to appeal from a decision made by the FWC under this Part unless the FWC considers that it is in the public interest to do so.
(2) Despite subsection 604(1), an appeal from a decision made by the FWC in relation to a matter arising under this Part can only, to the extent that it is an appeal on a question of fact, be made on the ground that the decision involved a significant error of fact.
A further illustrative list of errors which may be made by a Tribunal is set out in Craig v The State of South Australia (1995) 184 CLR 163 and approved in Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v Yusuf (2001) 206 CLR 323 and Kirk v Industrial Relations Commission; Kirk Group Holdings Pty Ltd v WorkCover Authority of New South Wales (Inspector Childs) (2010) 239 CLR 531.
The Full Bench may also intervene on the basis that the decision subject to appeal is unreasonable or plainly unjust.
In each appeal the Full Bench needs to determine two issues:
"... the public interest might be attracted where a matter raises issues of importance and general application, or where there is a diversity of decisions at first instance so that guidance from an appellate court is required, or where the decision at first instance manifests an injustice, or the result is counter intuitive or that the legal principles applied appear disharmonious when compared with other recent decisions dealing with similar matters ..."
Subject to the appellant demonstrating an arguable case of appealable error, the Commission has a broad discretion as to the circumstances in which it can grant permission to appeal. Some examples of considerations which have traditionally been adopted in granting leave include:
CFMEU v AIRC 84 IR 314 at 333; Wan v AIRC 116 FCR 489; Wright v Australian Customs Service 120 IR 346.
The appellant must number the pages of the appeal book.
The appeal book must be lodged within 7 days of the lodgment of the notice of appeal.
[See Rule 56(3)]
[See s.596(2) of the Act]
[See s.596(3) of the Act]
The Act confers a discretion on a Full Bench hearing an appeal to admit further evidence and take into account any other information or evidence (s.607(2) of the Act). The principles established in Akins v National Australia Bank  34 NSWLR 155 at 160 are relevant to when the discretion to admit new evidence may be exercised. In that case the Court noted that while it is not possible to formulate a test which should be applied in every case, in general these three principles should be applied:
[See s.607(3) of the Act]
The first page of a submission that is lodged with the Commission must be headed in the manner set out in Attachment 1 (Word).
Generally, outlines of submissions should:
A copy of the outline must also be served on the other parties to the appeal.
Note: In circumstances where an appeal deals with complex issues of law or fact the appellant may apply to vary the standard directions in the notice of appeal. Where the respondent seeks to vary the standard directions they may apply in writing as soon as possible after being notified of the appeal.
Notice of listing/directions issued and appellant to lodge appeal books
Appellant's outline of submission filed
Respondent's outline of submissions filed
For further information refer to: