The Commission cannot provide legal advice. The Commission can only provide general information about the application process.
As part of the general protections application process, parties may choose to obtain their own independent legal advice.
There are community legal centres in each state and territory. The National Association of Community Legal Centres Inc (NACLC) legal help page can help with finding the nearest community legal centre. Please note that the NACLC does not itself offer legal advice.
The Fair Work Commission is currently overseeing a pilot program offering free legal assistance to applicants seeking employment law advice in Melbourne and Sydney. Job Watch and Springvale Monash Legal Service in Melbourne, and Legal Aid NSW and Marrickville Legal Centre in Sydney, have joined with the Fair Work Commission in this pilot program.
Qualified lawyers employed by these organisations will provide their services free of charge to self-represented or unrepresented applicants seeking guidance with unfair dismissal or general protections matters.
The service is facilitated by the Commission and its staff will schedule appointments for clients to meet with a lawyer as follows:
The provision of advice to applicants as part of the Workplace Advice Clinic is the responsibility of each organisation. Advice received as part of this program should in no way be considered or represented as being advice received from the Commission.
All costs associated with providing lawyers for the pilot program will be borne by the organisations.
The pilot program is anticipated to run until the end of 2016.
Clients who make use of this service will meet with the lawyer at the Commission's Melbourne or Sydney premises. This appointment will be booked by Commission staff.
At the appointment, the lawyer may:
It is possible that at the appointment the lawyer may advise clients that their matter is without merit or has little chance of a successful outcome. In this case, the lawyer’s assistance may be limited to helping clients with the Commission’s processes in discontinuing an application if one has already been filed.
The lawyer may also advise clients to re-file their application under an alternative legislative provision, or pursue it in another jurisdiction.
Self-represented or unrepresented applicants are eligible for the free legal assistance.
Self-represented or unrepresented applicants interested in speaking with a lawyer from the Workplace Advice Clinic should contact the Commission on 1300 799 675 to arrange an appointment.
For eligibility information, refer to the General protections dismissal quiz.
You can also refer to the full set of general protections guides on the Commission’s website:
The General Protections Benchbook can also help parties lodging or responding to general protections applications.
If you need further information or help, please refer to the Enquiries page.