If appropriate, the Fair Work Commission will schedule a mediation session for the parties involved to try to help them resolve the case.
If a mediation session is scheduled, the parties who are asked to attend will receive a Notice of Listing which outlines the time, date, venue (if applicable) and method for mediation.
Mediation is an informal, voluntary, private and confidential process facilitated by a Commission Member or by one of the Commission’s anti-bullying mediators. Mediation is aimed at giving parties the opportunity to identify what they see as the key issues in dispute and assist them to explore options for resolving that dispute together.
Commission Members and mediators are independent and do not take sides.
Mediation is beneficial to parties as it:
Anti-bullying cases may be mediated by a Member of the Commission or an anti-bullying mediator.
Your Notice of Listing will confirm who is conducting the mediation.
The style of each Member and mediator may vary but, in general, mediation will include the following steps:
The mediation may take place in person, by telephone or by video conference.
One of the benefits of mediation is that the outcomes that can be reached can be tailored, depending on the parties’ situation. This means that the parties can seek to resolve a case in any way they consider will assist them to resume a constructive and cooperative relationship.
Given the nature of the jurisdiction and the orders available, should a case not be resolved the Commission will not be promoting or recommending the resolution of these applications on the basis of monetary payments.
Workers, employers and people against whom bullying is alleged (the parties) do not need to be represented at mediation, but may have a support person or a representative (including a lawyer) with them if they prefer.
A support person usually does not take an active part in the mediation but is there to give you moral support. The support person is often a friend or family member.
If the case does not resolve at mediation and proceeds to a conference or hearing, formal permission to be represented by an external lawyer or paid agent needs to be granted by a Commission Member.
If you need help, such as a language or sign language interpreter, please let us know as soon as possible before the mediation so we can arrange it for you. This is a free service.
Information about help for non-English speakers can be found on our website.
If you are not available on the date of the mediation you may request an adjournment (ie request a change of time or date).
Adjournment requests must be made in writing to the Commission and will only be granted if the Commission considers there are substantial grounds. Any requests should be made as early as possible before the mediation date, and you must also send a copy of your request to the other parties involved in the case.
If there is no agreement the case will progress to a formal conference or hearing before a Commission Member. This will enable the application to be determined and a binding decision made.
You can find out more about hearings and conferences on our website.
Mediation works best if the parties prepare well. Use the following checklist as your guide.