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.
Once bargaining is complete and a proposed agreement has been made, certain steps must be taken to make sure the agreement can be approved by the Fair Work Commission.
The employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that:
The employer may ask the employees who are employed at the time and will be covered by the proposed agreement to approve the agreement by voting for it.
A vote must not occur until at least 21 days after the last day on which employees were given notice of their representational rights (see the Enterprise bargaining page).
The employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that during the 7 day access period employees employed at the time who will be covered by the agreement are given a copy of the following materials:
the relevant employees have access throughout the 7 day access period to a copy of those materials.
The employer must take all reasonable steps to ensure that by the start of the 7 day access period the relevant employees have been notified of:
The agreement is made when:
Agreements may contain terms about:
Agreements should not include any unlawful content. This includes:
Agreements approved by the Commission on or after 1 January 2014 cannot include a term that requires superannuation contributions for default fund employees to be made to a superannuation fund, unless that fund:
Note: this requirement applies to all agreements approved on or after 1 January 2014, including those lodged before 1 January 2014.
Once an enterprise agreement is made, a bargaining representative for the agreement must apply to the Commission for approval of the agreement using Form F16 – Application for approval of enterprise agreement, which can be found on our Forms page.
The application must be lodged with the Commission within 14 days of the agreement being made or within such further period as the Commission allows.
The application must be accompanied by:
Completed applications can be lodged:
Organisations not listed as bargaining representatives in the application (Form F16) can request access to enterprise agreement application approval documentation.
When an organisation is given access to application documentation it does not follow that the organisation is, or becomes a party to the application. Nor does it follow that the organisation has thereby obtained a right to be heard or to make submissions in relation to the application.
Unless an organisation is able to establish that it was a bargaining representative for the agreement, or that it has been given a right to be heard or to make a submission, an organisation will not be included in any correspondence, including notification of the Commission’s intention to determine the application, unless contacted by the presiding Member and advised otherwise.
To approve an enterprise agreement, the Commission must be satisfied that:
Before approving an enterprise agreement, the Commission must ensure the agreement passes the better off overall test.
This test requires that each of the employees to be covered by the agreement are better off overall than under the relevant modern award.
The better off overall test is outlined in s.193 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
The Commission may approve an enterprise agreement that may not meet certain requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009 if satisfied that a written undertaking meets the concern.
The Commission may only accept a written undertaking from an employer, after seeking the views of each bargaining representative and if satisfied that the effect of accepting the undertaking is not likely to:
When the Commission approves the agreement it will issue a decision with the approved agreement and any undertakings accepted by it attached. A copy will be sent to all the parties involved, and the decision and agreement will be published on our website.
Organisations should refer to the Agreements in progress page on the Commission’s website for information on current agreement approval applications. Note that if no person contacts the Commission wishing to be heard, applications may be approved or refused no earlier than 7 business days from the date that the application was lodged.