The Fair Work Commission has launched a Workplace Advice Service (Service) to provide access to free legal assistance to eligible persons including small business employers seeking employment law advice.
The Commission has launched this Service as free legal advice can improve access to justice, reduce participants' anxiety and confusion, and avoid unnecessary costs.
In Victoria and New South Wales we are partnering with a range of law firms, community legal centres and legal aid commissions to provide assistance.
In Queensland we are partnering with Legal Aid Queensland to provide vulnerable persons with access to free legal advice.
The Commission arranges appointments for eligible persons with participating law firms, community legal centres and legal aid commissions.
Qualified lawyers from these organisations may then be able to provide free legal advice to the eligible persons seeking guidance on unfair dismissal, general protections and other employment-related matters.
The organisations are responsible for the advice they provide, and should not be mistaken for the advice of the Commission. All costs associated with providing lawyers for the Service are met by the participating organisations.
An appointment with a lawyer through the service runs for the duration of one-hour, and takes place at the Commission's Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane premises. The appointment may also take place over the phone.
During the appointment, a lawyer may advise the party on:
It is possible a lawyer may advise the application is without merit. In this case, the assistance will be limited to helping the party comply with the Commission's processes and organising their material.
Please note: It is still the parties responsiblity to prepare their own submission outlines, witness statements and other hearing documentation. Parties should also be prepared to present their own case.
Unrepresented parties — both applicant (employee) and respondent (employer) — are eligible for the Service in Victoria and NSW. At present, only unrepresented applicants (employees) are eligible for the Service in Queensland.
Members of unions or employer associations are not eligible for the Service, and are encouraged to contact these organisations for assistance. Respondents (employers) who have existing in-house counsel or human resources staff are encouraged to utilise their existing resources.
Unrepresented persons interested in accessing free legal advice should call the Commission on 1300 799 675 to arrange an appointment or find out more.
The Commission is able to arrange a free interpreter service for parties participating in a conference, conciliation conference or hearing before a Member if needed.
|Arnold Bloch Leibler|
|Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors|
|Bartier Perry Lawyers|
|Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers|
|Corrs Chambers Westgarth|
|Danny King Legal|
|Herbert Smith Freehills|
|Industrial Bar Association of the Victorian Bar|
|J N Zigouras & Co. Lawyers|
|Kelly Workplace Lawyers|
|Lander & Rogers|
|Legal Aid NSW|
|Legal Aid Queensland|
|Marrickville Legal Centre|
|Norton Rose Fulbright|
|NSW Bar Association|
|Rigby Cooke Lawyers|
|Russell Kennedy Lawyers|