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.
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is affecting how we deal with general protections dismissal cases.
You can still make an application during this time.
For everyone’s safety, we have closed our counters. We are no longer accepting applications in-person or by post. We ask that you:
If you’re having trouble lodging an application, please call us on 1300 799 675.
The 21 day time limit for lodgment still applies.
If you are involved in a general protections case that’s already underway, it will continue to proceed.
We are trying as hard as we can to help resolve cases as quickly as possible, but our operations have been affected along with all Australian workplaces. Because of this, you may find that your case takes longer than normal to process.
Where possible, we will deal with your case entirely by phone or videoconference. This means that you will not have to come in to the Commission.
For more detail about these changes, please read our full Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates & advice.
A person has been dismissed from their employment when:
If you have been dismissed from your employment you may be able to make an application to the Fair Work Commission under either unfair dismissal or general protections dismissal laws. Applications under these laws must be received by the Fair Work Commission within 21 days of your dismissal taking effect.
To understand the key differences between these applications, and to decide whether one of these applications may be appropriate for you, see the Termination of employment page.
If eligible, you can make an application to the Fair Work Commission under either unfair dismissal or general protections dismissal laws:
The Workplace Advice Service provides access to free legal assistance to eligible people and some small business employers who need advice about general protections dismissals and other employment-related matters.
The Service is currently available in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
The general protections have been introduced to:
A person (such as an employer), must not take any 'adverse action' against another person (such as an employee), because that person has a workplace right, has exercised a workplace right or proposes to exercise that workplace right.
Adverse actions that can be taken against an employee or potential employee might include:
The Fair Work Commission has created a General protections benchbook which contains detailed information and links to cases setting out eligibility and the Commission process, including information on objections.
Workplace rights include:
A person must not take adverse action against another person because they engaged in or proposed to engage in industrial activity (such as belonging to or participating in a union), including refusing to participate in any industrial action.
Industrial activities cover activities associated with freedom of association including:
An employer also must not take adverse action against an employee because of an attribute of that person, including their:
An employer must not tell an employee that they are being hired as a contractor if they are really an employee. An employer must not dismiss or threaten to dismiss an employee in order to hire them as an independent contractor doing the same or substantially the same work.
General protections laws apply to:
General protections laws provide protection from a range of actions (explained below) taken by, or that affect (or that could or are intended to affect, or are threatened to affect) constitutionally-covered entities, employers in the ACT or Northern Territory, or other trade or commerce employers. They also protect from actions taken in a territory or a Commonwealth place.
A constitutionally covered entity can be any of the following:
Complete the General protections eligibility quiz to find out if you may be eligible for a remedy under the general protections provisions for a workplace dismissal.
If you've received notice from the Fair Work Commission about a general protections application relating to dismissal (ending employment), it means:
If you think your employment ended unfairly (you were dismissed or your employment was terminated unfairly):