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.
A person has been dismissed from their employment when:
The Fair Work Commission can provide assistance for employees that have been dismissed from their employment.
The Fair Work Commission can only provide assistance to you if you make an application to the Commission by completing the appropriate form.
If you have been dismissed from your employment, there are 3 types of applications that may be relevant to your circumstances, though you can only lodge 1 of these applications with the Commission.
It is important to note that the application must be received by the Commission within 21 days of your dismissal taking effect.
There are 3 types of applications that should be considered if you have been dismissed from your employment.
This may be the most appropriate application for you if:
To be eligible to lodge this type of application:
This may be the most appropriate application for you if you believe you were dismissed from your employment because of your:
To be eligible to lodge this type of application:
This application is not about the fairness or otherwise of your dismissal, it is about a dismissal that has occurred in breach of a protection set out in the Fair Work Act 2009.
Generally the Fair Work Commission only has a narrow role in relation to these types of disputes, and that is to facilitate a conciliation conference.
If you wish to have the matter determined to finality, you may need to commence an action in the Federal Court. You cannot commence an action in the Federal Court until after you have been through the Fair Work Commission General Protections processes.
A small number of employees are covered by the unlawful termination provisions of the Fair Work Act. These include:
In many ways, the unlawful termination laws and general protections laws are similar.
If you can make a general protections dismissal application because you are covered by the general protections laws, you cannot make an unlawful termination application.
More information about unlawful termination applications is available on the Unlawful termination page
Sally has been employed by ADE Pty Ltd for 5 years as a sales representative.
A new manager commenced work in the business. Three days later he called Sally into his office and stated "I don’t like the way you deal with customers. I am letting you go. I will pay you your entitlements next week. Please return the key and don’t come back again." Sally tried to explain that she had always dealt with customers politely. Her manager stated: "Sally, I have made my decision, please leave the premises immediately."
Sally reviewed the information on the Fair Work Commission's website. She felt her dismissal was unfair because:
Sally made an application for unfair dismissal using Form F2.
Simon has been employed by ADE Pty Ltd for 5 years as a sales representative.
Simon suffered a bad injury at football one Saturday, and as a consequence was unable to work for a week. He obtained a doctors certificate the day that he sustained the injury and emailed it to his manager. His manager called him the following day, and stated "Simon, I can’t afford not to have you in the office in the next week. Either you get over your injury and come in, or I am letting you go." Simon explained that he was covered by a medical certificate and the doctor had advised him not to work for a full 7 days. His manager stated "well, in that case Simon, I’m terminating your employment. You will receive your entitlements in the next pay run."
Simon reviewed the information on the Fair Work Commission's website. He felt his dismissal was in breach of the protection relating to temporary absence from work due to illness or injury, as his manager had dismissed him because he was absent from work due to injury.
Simon made an application for general protections dismissal using Form F8.
An employee can become redundant when an employer no longer needs that person's job to be performed by anyone. This is usually because of changes to the operational requirements of the workplace.
If the role to be made redundant is covered by an award or agreement, the consultation provisions in that award or agreement should be followed.