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 Fair Work Act 2009 defines constitutional corporations as 'a corporation to which paragraph 51(xx) of the Constitution applies.'
The Australian Constitution defines constitutional corporations as 'Foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth'.
This definition has two limbs that are 'comprehensive alternatives'. This means that constitutional corporations are either 'foreign corporations' or 'trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth'. Therefore, a foreign corporation does not need to be formed within the limits of the Commonwealth or be a trading or financial corporation to be classified as a constitutional corporation.
Many incorporated employers in the private sector who sell goods or provide services for a fee will easily satisfy the criteria of a trading or financial corporation.
The issue of whether an employer is a constitutional corporation usually arises where the employer is a not-for-profit organisation in industries such as health, education, local government and community services.
A foreign corporation is a corporation that has been formed outside of Australia.
A corporation which is formed outside of Australia, which employs an employee to work in its business in Australia, is likely to be a national system employer and therefore fall within the jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission.
Australia may include the Territory of Christmas Island and the Territory of the Cocos (Keeling) Island.
There may be instances where people employed on ships or fixed platforms (both within and outside of the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental shelf) will be deemed to be performing work within Australia.
Trading denotes the activity of, providing for reward, goods or services.
The Commission will consider the nature of a corporation with reference to its activities, rather than the purpose for which it was formed.
It does not matter if trading activities are a corporation's 'dominant' activity or whether they are merely an 'incidental' activity, or entered into in the course of pursuing other activities.
A corporation will be a trading corporation if the trading engaged in is 'a sufficiently significant proportion of its overall activities'.
A corporation can be a trading corporation even if it was not originally formed to trade.
One factor that may be considered is the commercial nature of the activity. When considering the commercial nature of a corporation's activity, the Commission will look at a number of factors, including:
A financial corporation is one 'which borrows and lends or otherwise deals in finance as its principal or characteristic activity...'
The approach taken in deciding whether the activities of a corporation are such that the corporation should be considered to be a financial corporation is the same as the approach taken in deciding whether a corporation is a trading corporation.
In Western Australia, a company which is not a constitutional corporation is generally not a national system employer and therefore not covered by the national unfair dismissal laws.
However, if one of the partners of a partnership is a trading corporation (such as a Pty Ltd company), the partnership can be a national system employer.
A partnership is the relationship that exists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view to profit.
A partnership is not a separate entity from its constituent parts. Each partner is jointly and severally liable for the partnership's obligations.
A person can be defined as a separate legal entity, recognised by the law as having rights and obligations.
There are two categories of person:
 Fair Work Act s.12.
 Australian Constitution s.51(xx).
 A Stewart, Stewart’s Guide to Employment Law (4th ed, 2013) at p. 36.
 ibid., at p. 34.
 See also Gardner v Milka-Ware International Ltd  FWA 1589 (Gooley C, 25 February 2010) at para. 24.
 Fair Work Act s.31.
 Fair Work Act ss.33‒35.
 Re Ku-Ring-Gai Co-operative Building Society (No 12) Ltd  FCA 50 (18 December 1978), [(1978) 36 FLR 134, at p. 139].
 R v Federal Court of Australia; Ex parte WA National Football League  HCA 6 (27 February 1979), [(1979) 143 CLR 190, at p. 208 (Mason J)].
 ibid., [(1979) 143 CLR 190, at p. 239].
 ibid., [(1979) 143 CLR 190, at p. 233].
 Garvey v Institute of General Practice Education Incorporated  NSWIRComm 159 (28 June 2007) at para. 30, [(2007) 165 IR 62].
 University of Western Australia v National Tertiary Education Industry Union, Print P1962 (AIRC, O’Connor C, 20 June 1997) at p. 3; citing R v Federal Court of Australia; Ex parte WA National Football League  HCA 6 (27 February 1979), [(1979) 143 CLR 190, at p. 209].
 University of Western Australia v National Tertiary Education Industry Union, Print P1962 (AIRC, O’Connor C, 20 June 1997) at p. 3; citing Re Australian Beauty Trade Suppliers Limited v Conference and Exhibition Organisers Pty Limited  FCA 154 (18 April 1991) at para. 11, [(1991) 29 FCR 68, at p. 72].
 Re Ku-Ring-Gai Co-operative Building Society (No 12) Ltd  FCA 50 (18 December 1978), [(1978) 36 FLR 134, at p. 138].
 State Superannuation Board v Trade Practices Commission (1982) HCA 72 (14 December 1982) at para. 19 (Mason, Murphy and Deane JJ), [(1982) 150 CLR 282, at p. 303].
 Butterworths Australian Legal Dictionary, 1997, at p. 851.
 Butterworths Australian Legal Dictionary, 1997, at p. 870.