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.
See Fair Work Act 2009 s.389(1)(b)
The obligation on an employer to consult about redundancy only arises when a modern award or enterprise agreement applies to an employee and that modern award or enterprise agreement contains requirements (which they often do) to consult about redundancy.
See Fair Work Act s.47
A modern award applies to an employee when it:
A modern award does NOT apply to an employee at a time when the employee is a high income employee. As a result, modern award consultation obligations do not apply to high income employees.
This does not affect eligibility for an unfair dismissal remedy.
See Fair Work Act s.52
An enterprise agreement applies to an employee when it:
There is no legislative requirement to consult about the redundancy before a decision is made to make an employee redundant.
The Fair Work Ombudsman can assist you with enquiries about the application of modern awards and enterprise agreements. For assistance, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or www.fairwork.gov.au.
It will not be case of genuine redundancy if an employer does not comply with any relevant obligation in a modern award or enterprise agreement to consult about the redundancy. This does not impose an absolute obligation on an employer to consult about the redundancy but requires the employer to fulfil obligations under an award or agreement if the dismissal is to be considered a genuine redundancy.
If an employer was obliged to consult and fails to do so, there cannot be a genuine redundancy.
The process for selecting employees for redundancy is not relevant to whether the dismissal was a genuine redundancy or whether there was a valid reason for dismissal based on capacity. However an unlawful selection process may be relevant to a claim under the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act or under state or federal anti-discrimination laws.
Criteria in s.389 of the Fair Work Act which have not been met, such as the requirement to consult, can be taken into account in the Fair Work Commission's consideration as to whether the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable as part of s.387(h) of the Fair Work Act, being 'any other matters that FWC considers relevant'.
A failure to consult with employees about redundancy can mean that the Commission may find that it was not a case of genuine redundancy. However, in circumstances where 'consultation was highly unlikely to have negated the operational reasons for the dismissal or lead to any other substantive change', the failure to consult may not be so strongly considered by the Commission in determining whether it was an unfair dismissal.
Consultations should be meaningful and should be engaged in before an irreversible decision to terminate has been made.
'Consultation is not perfunctory advice on what is about to happen ... [c]onsultation is providing the individual, or other relevant persons, with a bona fide opportunity to influence the decision maker.'
'The purpose of a consultation clause is to facilitate change where that is necessary, but to do that in a humane way which also takes into account and derives benefit from an interchange between worker and manager.'
The following was observed by Sachs LJ in Sinfield v London Transport Executive:
Consultations can be of very real value in enabling points of view to be put forward which can be met by modifications of a scheme and sometimes even by its withdrawal. Any right to be consulted is something that is indeed valuable and should be implemented by giving those who have the right an opportunity to be heard at the formative stage of proposals – before the mind of the executive becomes unduly fixed.
 Explanatory Memorandum to Fair Work Bill 2008 at para. 1550.
 ibid., at paras 47‒48.
 See Maswan v Escada Textilvertrieb T/A ESCADA  FWA 4239 (Watson VP, 8 July 2011) at para. 39.
 Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v Newcastle Wallsend Coal Company, Print R0234 (AIRCFB, Ross VP, MacBean SDP, Deegan C, 21 December 1998) at paras 78–80, [(1998) 88 IR 202]; cited in Steele v Ennesty Energy Pty Ltd T/A Ennesty Energy  FWA 4917 (Jones C, 21 June 2012) at para. 20.
 Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia v Vodafone Network Pty Ltd, PR911257 (AIRC, Smith C, 14 November 2001) at para. 25.
 ibid., 558.