The Fair Work Commission is developing an evaluation methodology with the New Approaches User Group that will enable participants and the Commission to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the program and how its principles are applied by participants in the workplace.
The New Approaches program supports parties working together effectively in ways that prevent and minimise disputes and encourage collaboration through the provision of training and facilitation services. The range and timing of service provision is responsive to the needs and expectations of parties. The evaluation methodology will similarly recognise such differences of approach and scope.
The Commission has engaged the Social Research Centre to administer a participant survey that has been co-designed with members of the New Approaches User Group. The survey is part of a suite of resources that will enable participants to reflect on achievements, strengths, limitations, risks and opportunities to improve.
The participant survey is voluntary. It will provide valuable insights about attitudes, actions and outcomes and feedback on the services provided by the Commission.
A discussion paper prepared by the Commission's Evaluation & User Experience Research Section provides further information about the purpose and objectives of the program and the evaluation process.
The Social Research Centre will contact participants on behalf of the Commission and invite them to complete a survey via telephone or online.
For more information about the research and to provide feedback about the survey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome feedback and ideas at any time.
The Commission continues to invite feedback from parties immediately following the conduct of a conciliation conference. This feedback is provided using an online feedback form. A link to the feedback form is included in correspondence to parties from the conciliator after the session.
Participation is entirely voluntary and greatly appreciated. The Commission monitors the results of the feedback, including service performance measures and reports.
To provide feedback and ideas to the Commission directly, or to access a survey link to provide feedback anonymously, please email email@example.com.
The Commission engaged Wallis Social & Market Research to conduct a survey to invite feedback and ideas from unfair dismissal applicants, respondents and representatives.
Findings from the survey are being used to benchmark and monitor service performance and inform improved practices and resources.
The Commission initiated external user experience research to seek feedback from users about case management practices and ideas that could improve service delivery relating to enterprise agreements, including the timeliness of approvals and information materials.
The Commission wrote to Ai Group, ACCI and ACTU to invite their affiliates and members to participate in this important research. Following this, six workshops were held with a broad range of frequent and infrequent users. These workshops were supplemented by in-depth interviews and written contributions from users who were unable to attend a workshop.
The Commission has acted decisively on the feedback. We heard that parties were unsatisfied with timeliness and have taken measures to successfully address that. In fact, based on performance for agreements lodged and finalised in the last seven months, compliant and complete applications are being approved within a median of 17 days from lodgment. Similarly, all applications, simple and complex, lodged and finalised in that period have been approved in a median of 34 days from lodgment. Timeliness is projected to continually improve over the coming months.
Another important piece of feedback was the desire for more accessible education and information resources to assist in making compliant and complete applications. The best way of improving timeliness is for the Commission to be able to approve agreements that are complete and compliant at the time of lodgment. While it was recognised that the Commission has useful resources on its website, there are several recommendations about the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Commission working together to improve the advice and educative resources available to the public.
A detailed explanation about what the Commission has done in response to each of the recommendations to the research and the final report can be downloaded below.
The Commission has recently commenced consultations with users of the enterprise agreement system which have indicated that the changes appear to have improved service delivery. While this is pleasing, the Commission is committed to further improving service delivery.
The Commission recently launched the What’s Next plan to improve access and reduce complexity for tribunal users. As part of this broad focus, we engaged independent consultants to explore the experiences of unfair dismissal users.
The resulting Unfair dismissal user-experience research report identified several opportunities where we could enhance users’ experiences. One opportunity was refining the Commission’s unfair dismissal correspondence to be more user friendly.
In line with the report's recommendations, we have been working to improve our case management correspondence.
To help us find out if our improved documents meet their objectives (that is, that they are more readable and effective, and that their tone and emotional impact are improved) we engaged Pivot Management Consulting to critically test the refined documents with applicants and respondents of the unfair dismissal process.
The Commission engaged Cube Group to conduct unfair dismissal user-experience research with employers and employees throughout 2017.
The purpose of the research was to examine client experiences and explore ways to improve case management practices and information resources.
Findings from the research are being used in the design of the Commission’s new case management system and a range of other initiatives designed to improve services and information resources for self-represented and first time users who are unfamiliar with tribunal procedures.
A consolidated report of findings from the research is available to download:
Further research, including client service surveying and user-testing research will continue throughout 2018 to help identify further improvements to case management practices and information resources and to monitor the effectiveness of changes implemented.
The Commission is building a new case management system. The new system is designed to assist Australian employers and employees when applying and responding to applications made to the Commission by reducing administrative burden and delivering better access to quality and timely information.
The new system is being built in an iterative manner with users involved in all stages of design. During the first half of 2018, Commission staff invited employers, employees and representatives to join them in design workshops to help shape the system for future users.
Mr Bruce Billson, of Agile Advisory, has undertaken a program to generate ideas and feedback about how the Fair Work Commission can better meet the needs of small business.
Consultation meetings were held across the country to hear candid observations, practical insights and real-life experiences from small business employers and their representatives.
A report of consultation findings and recommendations is available to download: